Train derailment investigation continues; processing center to - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Train derailment investigation continues; processing center to close

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Air 3 over the scene where crews were hosing down flames after the derailment caught fire. Air 3 over the scene where crews were hosing down flames after the derailment caught fire.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Life is getting back to normal near the site of Dixie Highway's train derailment and explosion that took place on October 29.

Two days later, an explosion took place after officials say workers got a blow torch too close to the rail cars.

For days, hazardous chemicals sat at the site, while residents in a nearly five mile radius were either evacuated or told to stay in their homes.

"To be told within five to ten minutes to be out of your home is terrible," Evacuee Peggy Craig said.

Residents worried what was next as a fire burned for days. Dixie Highway's closure added nearly an hour to commute times. P & L Railway has been paying for all of that literally.

"We had a lot of claims being filed as of a week ago," said P&L Spokesperson Bonnie Hackbarth.

A processing center at the VFW Post at 6518 Blevins Gap Road has been open ever since so affected residents, even schools, can file claims.

"We would pay hotel and food and in some cases there was transportation around the road closure because of the evacuation," Hackbarth said. 

But some residents apparently felt that isn't enough, and filed a class action lawsuit.

"They're not giving people anywhere near the amount of money they've actually lost in the short term and they're using this one size fits all formula," Jasper Ward with law firm Partner PLC.

P&L disagrees and says they've even paid an extra $100 per person for the inconvenience, on top of eligible expenses.

"Paducah and Louisville Railway has written more than 5,000 checks for claims so far. I understand there was a lawsuit filed and that's being reviewed," Hackbarth said.

What caused the railcars to veer off the tracks still remains a mystery.

"Generally speaking those reports take several months and the investigation is still underway," Hackbarth said.

The processing center closes Saturday, December 15 at 5:00 pm. After that, claims will have to be handled by telephone. That number is (800) 786-5204.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

Derailment fire sidebar

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