A freight train derailed in the central and eastern United States, igniting a fire involving the sulfur it was transporting. The incident, occurring near Livingston, prompted Kentucky authorities to advise residents to evacuate during the Thanksgiving holiday.
The derailment, which occurred on Wednesday afternoon, involved at least 16 cars, including two carrying liquid sulfur. The containers ruptured, releasing part of their contents and catching fire, according to the train company CSX, which operated the convoy.
When liquid sulfur burns, it releases sulfur dioxide, a hazardous pollutant that is harmful to both human health and the environment. In response to the situation, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear declared a “state of emergency” to mobilize all necessary resources.
Efforts to address the accident are ongoing, with local officials encouraging residents in the Livingston area to evacuate. CSX is urging concerned residents to leave the area and providing accommodations in hotels approximately 15 kilometers away.
The incident unfolded on the eve of Thanksgiving, a holiday traditionally marked by family gatherings and festive meals. Some residents, in the midst of holiday preparations, expressed difficulty complying with evacuation recommendations.
This incident recalls a similar event in March when a train transporting hazardous chemicals, including vinyl chloride, a highly flammable and carcinogenic substance used in plastic manufacturing, derailed in Ohio. The episode led to the evacuation of around 2,000 homes, raising concerns about potential environmental consequences.