Fiery Pike County Train Derailment Results In Diesel Spill

Feb 13, 2020


Federal, state, and local agencies are investigating a fiery train derailment Thursday in Pike County near Elkhorn City.  Pike County Emergency Management Director Doug Tackett.

“I can’t remember something like this happened, not in my 25 years,” said Tackett.

Tackett said a CSX train hit a mud slide and six cars derailed, three locomotives and three cars carrying ethanol.  “Two of those cars were breached during the derailment, starting leaking their contents and a locomotive caught fire from diesel fuel and that fire caught the ethanol tanks on fire as well.  The fire has been allowed to burn itself out,” explained Tackett.

Tackett noted the fire burned off the ethanol, but diesel leaked into the Russell Fork of the Big Sandy River.  He said it’s hard to determine the environmental impact. “It’s really too early to say because the river’s up quite a bit.  A lot of it is probably going to gather around the shore line that can be cleaned up,” Tackett said.

Tackett said two train employees were taken to the hospital for evaluation.  He added a water intake valve downstream was shut off.  The Pike County official said there was some evacuation of nearby residents early today, but they have been allowed to return home.

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