No Injuries In Molino Train Derailment (With Gallery)
May 25, 2012
At least four cars on CSX freight train derailed in Molino Thursday night, posing no danger to the public but evoked back memories of previous serious derailments in the area.
The loaded freight cars hauling flour and refrigerated orange juice came off a side track near the dead end of McKinnonville Road about 11 p.m. The cars appeared to have left the tracks at low speed as they past a switch as the train headed south toward Cantonment. Multiple cross ties were broken, with the tracks separating and many of train wheels coming to rest between the two pieces of track.
While the incident initially blocked crossings on Daffin and Fairground roads, those were re-opened within about an hour. Officials said that CSX expects to have the derailed cars back on the secondary track within 24 hours. No roadway crossings remain closed due to the derailment.
A northbound CSX train, stopped on the main track as the southbound train passed on the sidetrack, was not involved in the derailment.
Robert Harris, who lives near the railroad tracks on Daffin Road, said he first learned of the derailment from a breaking news story on NorthEscambia.com and walked to the scene to see for himself what had happened.
“It could have been a lot worse, something could have spilled out of one of the chemical cars and gas could have got around,” Harris said. “Somebody could have got hurt.”
Harris said that along the rails in Molino, he’s noticed that the tracks seems to move up and down from the railbed more than in some locations. “You can see them; they hop,” he said. “The trains, they bounce when they are going down the tracks.”
“Maybe CSX need to do some safety procedures about how they operate their transportation,” Harris added. “It seems like the tracks need to be checked out a little bit more.”
Harris said he was glad the accident wast not worse. “It wouldn’t be the first time it happened; there have been a lot of train derailments out here in the past.”
In 1995, a 29 car derailment in Molino involved multiple tankers with hazardous chemicals, forcing the evacuation of about 150 people.
In November 1979, officials actually used thermite grenades to ignite propane in six derailed tanker cars.All total, 22 cars derailed, 19 of which contained hazardous materials. The total cost of the derailment cleanup and damage to the environment was estimated at $5.1 million. Up to 200 people were evacuated.
In 1976, nearly 30 people received medical treatment after inhaling ammonia after a derailment just north of Molino. In all, at least a half dozen trains have reportedly derailed in the Molino area in the past 30 years.
Pictured: Four cars on from a southbound CSX freight train derailed in Molino Thursday night. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.