Regional
10:20 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Train Derails Near Hardin County, HazMat Unit Called In

Update at 4:00pm:

Officials tell the Courier-Journal that evacuees could return home tonight under a 'best-case scenario.'  Meanwhile, with Dixie Highway near Katherine Station Road expected to remain closed until Tuesday, motorists who normally travel south on Dixie Highway (US 31W) to Hardin County should detour via I-265 east to I-65 south.  Motorists who travel north on Dixie Highway should detour via KY 313 (Joe Prather Highway) in Hardin County to I-65 north.

Update at 10:39am:

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet just sent this out regarding the impact on Hardin County area traffic from this morning's nearby train derailment:

Northbound motorists planning to travel US 31W (Dixie Highway) to get into Jefferson County / Louisville area should use KY 313 southbound (Joe Prather Highway) 9.5 miles to merge onto Interstate 65 north and then proceed into Jefferson County until US 31W reopens to traffic. US 31W is restricted to local traffic north of US 60.

Original post:

A hazardous materials alert has been issued in southern Jefferson County after a train derailed in the area and emitted a strong chemical odor. MetroSafe spokeswoman Jody Duncan said about 20 houses were being evacuated Monday morning in southern Jefferson County near the town of West Point because multiple chemicals spilled from the train.

Duncan said others in the area were being told to shelter in place.

Duncan said the train derailed about 6 a.m. EDT near the Ohio Valley Dragway on Dixie Highway and spilled multiple chemicals, including hydrogen chloride and hydrochloric acid, which can cause coughing, choking, and inflammation of the nose, throat and upper respiratory tract.

A Level 3 HazMat alert, the highest possible, has been issued for the area.