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CSX eyes wheel bearing as cause of Kentucky derailment

A failed wheel bearing may have caused Wednesday's derailment of a CSX train. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)
A failed wheel bearing may have caused Wednesday's derailment of a CSX train. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

A company investigation has led CSX to believe that a failed wheel bearing may be the cause of last week’s derailment of a CSX train in east Kentucky.

The derailment, which occurred at 2:33 p.m EST on Wednesday just north of Livingston, Kentucky, in Rockcastle County, involved 16 rail cars, two of which spilled molten sulfur. The derailment also caused a fire, which CSX and emergency responders subsequently extinguished.

Because of concerns about the release of the molten sulfur, public officials issued a voluntary evacuation order, which was later rescinded. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear also declared a state of emergency to provide the local area with access to additional resources, including help from Kentucky Emergency Management and the Kentucky National Guard.

CSX (NASDAQ: CSX) said it removed the 16 rail cars as of Saturday afternoon and has been in close coordination with local authorities and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to clean up and restore the site, according to an update on the company’s website.

On Sunday morning, crews “successfully removed all of the released product and approximately 2,500 tons of impacted soil and replaced it with clean material,” CSX said. The rail carrier also expected to restore service on the main line on Sunday after repairs to the tracks.

Last week, CSX said the derailment included two rail cars carrying magnesium hydroxide, a hazardous material, although there was no indication that those cars were breached. Other cars that had derailed were either empty or carrying nonhazardous products, such as grain or plastic.

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The post CSX eyes wheel bearing as cause of Kentucky derailment appeared first on FreightWaves.

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