A Norfolk Southern (NS) train carrying various chemicals derailed the night of Sunday, Jan. 6, near Bartow, a small town in east Georgia, causing some of the chemicals being transported to spill.
Officials said hydrochloric acid was among the chemicals that may have spilled, according to a local news report.
Bartow and the surrounding areas were evacuated due to the derailment, and Bartow Mayor Robert Morris told a local news outlet that approximately 280 people were affected by the evacuation.
Early the following morning, the local Sheriff’s office reported the evacuation area had been reduced to include residents living within three miles of the site where the derailment took place.
“Norfolk Southern can confirm that a train derailed shortly after 8 p.m. near Bartow, Ga. in Jefferson County,” NS officials stated following the train derailment. “Some of the rail cars on the train were carrying chlorine, and chlorine odors and a cloud have been reported in the area. Our first priority is the safety of local residents, responders, and employees. Local officials have ordered an evacuation of residents in the area. Please follow their instructions. We are at the scene working with first responders and environmental contractors. We will provide updates as soon as more information is available.”
According to a local news report, no injuries were initially reported.