Crews working to clean-up after train derailment
10/23/07 8:47AM By Melody Bodette
(Host) Clean up continues at this hour after a 16 car freight train derailed yesterday afternoon in Middlebury.
That derailment caused a fire that was quickly extinguished, but the smell of leaking gasoline from the tanker cars forced the evacuation of hundreds of people from a one-square mile area of town.
Chris Herrick is the Chief of the Vermont State Haz Mat Team. He says the leak has been contained and crews are now in the process of off-loading the gasoline from the tankers into a tractor trailer truck. Once that process is complete, the tankers will likely be removed by rail.
Herrick says gasoline did leak into Otter Creek.
(Herrick) "A great deal of what leaked was contained, but we really can't quantify what has leaked out and then even less of what has gotten into the Otter Creek."
(Host) Herrick adds the leak is being monitored.
(Herrick) "Right now we're seeing a light sheen on the water. And I know that the Agency of Natural Resources at some point will be doing some water testing and analysis, but as the water leaves this area it goes over a waterfall, and we're finding that the majority of any product is volatizing right there as it goes over the falls."
(Host) Herrick says they don't expect any danger to fish or animals in the creek.
Meanwhile all state roads in the area are open. The Middlebury Police Department says Cross Street, North Pleasant Street, Water Street and Charles Avenue are remain closed.
Middlebury Union High School and Mary Hogan Elementary School are open, but the Gailer School on Cross Street is closed.
AP Photo/John Drake