WILLARD, Ohio (AP) – Most of the estimated 425 families evacuated after a train derailment and chemical spill were allowed to return home Thursday.
About three dozen homes closest to the scene of Tuesday night’s derailment remained off-limits and residents could be out of their homes until late Friday, the city said.
Gov. John Kasich was briefed in Willard by officials and visited with evacuated families having a Thanksgiving dinner provided by the railroad at the high school.
Kasich said the evacuation and cleanup had been handled well and could serve as a model for emergency crews.
“The people of Willard have handled this very well, the first responders, the fire chief, the city manager and the company,” Kasich said before flying to Columbus for Thanksgiving dinner with his family.
“They are definitely on top of the situation. They are really professionals,” Kasich said in a phone interview.
An area of more than 425 homes was evacuated after the train derailment damaged a railcar that leaked styrene monomer, a flammable liquid that is used to make various plastic and rubber products.
No injuries were reported.
The city administration said air quality testing done by CSX Corp. and confirmed by state and federal environmental officials showed “only minor traces of the styrene in the air, well below danger level.”
The four derailed cars were put back on the tracks early Thursday, said CSX spokesman Gary Sease, adding that clearing the area would help with the cleanup.
Crews worked to vacuum liquid and remove the affected soil in the area of the spill in Willard, about 65 miles southwest of Cleveland.
The cars derailed at the rail yard while switching trains, and officials believe that’s when one car was damaged, according to Sease. The rail yard is a key link for CSX freight trains running between Chicago and the East Coast.
An investigation into the cause is ongoing, Sease said.
The damaged car leaked about half of its 26,000 gallons of styrene monomer, he said. The liquid dripped from a 4-inch hole for several hours before it was resealed.
Representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Ohio EPA were monitoring the cleanup.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon