A train derailment early this morning forced people around the city of Alma to be temporarily evacuated from their homes.
The train with Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway had 32 of its 112 rail cars jump the track … With several of them leaking material into the Mississippi river.
Neil Hebert has the latest.
This was **not** the wake-up call many residents in the city of Alma were expecting Saturday morning.
“We evacuated people in a thousand foot radius. As far as I know there were no injuries and everything is under control. A lot of the people were alerted. There were about 50-60 people responding to it.”
The train with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway derailed around 8:30 this morning but some residents say they weren’t notified for nearly another two hours.
“At about 10:30 this morning, a fire department official came and knocked on our door and asked us to evacuate. I asked them what the deal was and he said there was a train derailment just up the river.”
Clean up crews are now on the scene and will be working well into tomorrow to clean up the mess. Law enforcement says that there was a minor spillage into the waterways.
Of the 32 cars which derailed, 5 were leaking denatured alcohol, commonly known as ethanol, into the water.
“It has been determined that there’s no risk to life or health. It was a very quick response by everybody and other than what happened, everything has gone fairly well.”
The evacuation lasted for 4 hours, but residents are feeling safe and secure about their well-being.
“I haven’t heard much to determine what’s in the air so the concern is it’s something volatile, but the face that I’ve learned we can stay at our house tonight leads me to believe that it’s nothing too dangerous.”
Tonight, law enforcement is encouraging people to stay away from the area to allow crews to continue cleaning up today’s derailment.