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Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declares state of emergency over train derailment, chemical spill


Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declares state of emergency over train derailment, chemical spill

Information on what the train was carrying wasn’t immediately available.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency in Rockcastle County following a multi-car train derailment on Wednesday that his office said resulted in a chemical spill.

Around 16 train cars were involved in the incident, including two carrying molten sulfur that ended up on fire, according to CSX, which operates the train.

“At approximately 2:23pm today, a CSX train derailed north of Livingston, KY. Preliminary information indicates that at least 16 cars were involved, including two molten sulphur cars that have been breached and have lost some of their contents which is on fire,” a statement from the company to ABC News read.

“When molten sulphur burns it is known to release sulphur dioxide. Specialized equipment is being deployed to conduct air monitoring in the area,” the company’s statement continued. “CSX is in close contact with the Rockcastle county emergency teams as they continue to assess the situation and we appreciate their swift response.”

According to the governor’s office, via X (formally known as Twitter), at least one home was evacuated, with teams working to evacuate more.

Beshear said enacting the state of emergency would ensure “that every state resource is available to help keep our families safe.”

“Please stay clear of this area as state, local and CSX officials respond,” his statement concluded.

U.S. Route 25 was blocked in both directions in the area due to the derailment, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet 8 said in a post on Facebook.

CSX said it planned to work with local authorities as a recovery plan was developed.

“We will work together with the local authorities to secure the area and safety is our top priority as we develop a recovery plan,” CSX’s statement continued. “CSX encourages residents in proximity to the incident that are concerned about their safety to utilize the lodging that the company has secured in Mt. Vernon, KY. In addition to the hotels, CSX teams is working with local restaurants to provide meals for affected residents.”

ABC News’ Darren Reynolds and Maci Smith contributed to this report.

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