Highway 98 Partially Reopens Following New Augusta Train Derailm - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Highway 98 Partially Reopens Following New Augusta Train Derailment

Posted: Updated:
UPDATE - 1/31/14, 10:49pm: 
Officials confirm Highway 98 is back open on the eastbound side, but it's down to two lanes. 

Perry County Sheriff Jimmy Dale Smith tells us the spill is contained. However, there are still people out of their homes tonight. They won't be allowed back in until morning. 


UPDATE - 1/31/14, 1:03pm: 
Officials are working to contain the chemical spill from the train derailment. Sheriff Smith of Perry County confirmed there was a broken railroad track, that was possibly due to weather. Red Cross is on the scene assisting evacuees.
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We are covering a developing story out of Perry County this hour.

According to officials, 18 train cars have derailed on Highway 98 in New Augusta.

Due to the derailment, a chemical spill has occurred, the chemical has been identified as a type of petroleum based product. It is estimated that around 3 to 4 thousand gallons have been spilled. Officials say that the chemical is not toxic, but is flammable.

At this point, there are no reports of injuries.  The EOC has ordered a mandatory evacuation within a 1,000 ft radius. They're also evacuating Willow Rd.

Trooper Brent Barfield says that currently there is no known cause for the derailment, but that the situation is bad.

Highway 98 is shutdown. Anyone traveling west should take Hwy 29 to Hwy 42 in Petal. Anyone traveling east will be turned around completely. Trooper Barfield says this could take days to clean up and reopen the road.

Mississippi Highway Patrol, Perry County Sheriff’s Department, New Augusta Police & Fire Departments, and Perry County EMA are on the scene.


A statement from Patrick Waldron, spokesperson for Canadian National Railway:
"A southbound CN train headed from Jackson to Mobile, Alabama derailed at about 9 a.m. Friday near New Augusta, Mississippi. Initial indications are that 18 cars have derailed. There are no reports of injuries but several of the cars are carrying dangerous goods - including fuel oil and one containing methanol.

There are reports of fuel oil leaking from at least one of the cars, but there are no reports of a fire. CN emergency response and environmental crews are responding to assess the scene and begin a coordinated and comprehensive response.  Lanes of Highway 98 have been closed
."


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