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Weather slows efforts at W.Va. derailment site

Charleston Daily Mail photo by Marcus Constantino An overall view of all the equipment involved to clean up the train derailment Sunday afternoon in Mount Carbon, Fayette County.
Charleston Daily Mail photo by Marcus Constantino
An overall view of all the equipment involved to clean up the train derailment Sunday afternoon in Mount Carbon, Fayette County.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Cleanup at the site of the derailed CSX train in Fayette County continues, but officials said cold and snowy weather has slowed cleanup efforts.

Officials from CSX and federal, state and local agencies provided updates on the ongoing effort, as well as environmental monitoring during a press conference Sunday afternoon at Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church in Boomer. Skip Elliott, vice president of public safety, health and environment for CSX, said “just short of 124,000 gallons” of Bakken-region crude oil has been pumped from derailed oil tankers so far.

According to an EPA report, 28 of the train’s 109 cars derailed Monday near Mount Carbon and 19 were involved in fires. The train originated from North Dakota and was transporting around three million gallons of crude oil to Yorktown, Va.

“We still have more tank cars to look at but that is what has been recovered so far,” Elliott said. “There are still tank cars that the HazMat cars are still removing product from. There are some that actually have to be repositioned before they can move the product.”

Elliott said because of cold temperatures, workers on the scene have had to take breaks to prevent frostbite and hypothermia. Temperatures Friday morning were below zero across much of West Virginia; in Charleston, the temperature dipped to minus 11. Hoses froze Thursday night into the next day, causing delays in the oil removal process.

Elliott said Sunday afternoon the rails are expected to be cleared “within 24 to 48 hours,” but the timeframe will depend on the weather…

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