Norfolk Southern issued this news release this afternoon about the train derailment near Ligonier:
5:30 p.m. update
- Norfolk Southern has determined that 21 rail cars derailed when an eastbound freight train derailed today at approximately 4:40 a.m. EDT near Ligonier, Ind.
- As of 5 p.m., three of the derailed cars (two cars containing molten sulfur and one car containing wine) were still burning.
- Eleven of the derailed rail cars contained commodities classified as hazardous materials. Ten cars contained molten sulfur (used for making plastics, dyes, detergents, pharmaceutical products, fertilizer) and one car contained toluene (used to make paint, paint thinner, fingernail polish, rubber). None of the toluene appears to be leaking.
- Norfolk Southern is working with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to monitor air and water quality in the area, and at this time, there appears to be no evidence of any release of molten sulfur to any waterway that connects to the Elkhart River.
- As a precautionary measure, an area of approximately a half mile has been evacuated, affecting approximately six homes.
- The train consisted of 3 locomotives and 59 rail cars. Sixteen of the freight cars were empty, and 43 were loaded with a variety of freight.
- Track speed along this rail line is 50 mph.
- No injuries have been reported.
- The cause of the derailment is under investigation.
- An average of 90 to 100 trains, including two Amtrak passenger trains, use this route daily.
- Norfolk Southern is rerouting trains that normally use this rail line in coordination with other carriers as well as over alternate routes.