SC train crash kills nine

Officials sealed the chlorine leak Monday but many residents are still evacuated.

BY HEATHER MOYER | GRANITEVILLE, S.C. | January 11, 2005


Officials sealed the chlorine leak Monday but many residents are still evacuated after a train wreck last Thursday. Nine people are now confirmed dead.

More than 250 were injured after the Norfolk Southern train ran into a parked train early Thursday morning. The majority of those injured were treated for chlorine gas inhalation.

Three of the affected rail cars on the moving train were carrying chlorine gas. The nine dead include several workers in a nearby mill, the train engineer, and two other nearby residents. All of the deaths except one were due to chlorine gas inhalation.

Thousands of residents are expected to remain evacuated until Wednesday at the earliest. The Salvation Army has a canteen set up to feed the evacuees and is monitoring the situation.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford also declared a state of emergency for Aiken County. The state Department of Health and Environmental Control is onsite as well.

Joe Farmer, public information officer for the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, added that the state has dealt with minor chemical leaks before, but nothing of this magnitude.

The cause of the wreck is said to be the fault of a crew that parked a two-car train on a side rail. The crew then failed to switch the tracks back to the main rail.


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