Metro EMA: No changes in tanker car fire situation - News, Weather & Sports

Metro EMA: No changes in tanker car fire situation

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Emergency management officials said not much has changed since Wednesday concerning the fire around a derailed tanker car carrying chemicals and that the order for evacuations and sheltering in place remains in effect.

During a briefing Thursday morning Chief Vincent Smith of the Pleasure Ridge Park Fire Protection District it is still an active fire and they are still spraying water onto the tanker cars involved to minimize the vapors.

Doug Hamilton, director of Louisville Metro Emergency Management, said air monitoring has revealed no dangers.

Art Smith of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said air monitoring has been going on since Monday, except for the immediate area of the derailed cars. Smith said there has been no elevated reading away from the derailment site. Because of favorable wind conditions, Smith said the evacuated homes are not affected by the air quality.

When asked about the soil, Smith said there is no doubt it is a contaminated site, but the extent of the contamination is unknown. According to Smith, the emphasis is putting the fire out.

Overnight, Hamilton said work on a dam to contain water runoff from the site into the Salt River was completed.

Officials said there are no current plans to move the two detailed cars containing hydrogen fluoride which Hamilton said are the greatest risk to the community. Smith said hydrogen fluoride is a corrosive gas that would aggressively attack moist areas, like skin and mucus membranes.

Hamilton also provided an update on the three workers from R. J. Corman injured when the fire started. Hamilton said one man is still listed as critical, but the two were in fair condition. One of the workers is expected to be released from the hospital today.

In total, Metro EMA said 155 residences were affected by the evacuation order. P&L Railway has opened an outreach center at VFW Post 1181, located at 6518 Blevins Gap Road to make reimbursement to those affected by the derailment and fire.

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