By Jeff Clark/Monroe Journal
HAMILTON — According to a spokesperson with Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad, a train derailed at approximately 8:40 Monday morning at the crossing near Hollivay Road in Hamilton. No injuries were reported.
The spokesperson said a tree was down across the tracks and was believed to be the culprit behind the derailment which led to two lead locomotives and at least 10 cars going off the tracks.
The cleanup effort was implemented by Monroe County Emergency Management Director Bunky Goza.
“We received the call at approximately 9 a.m.,” Goza said. “We were notified by BNSF about the derailment. We notified the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, who were the first on the scene. We realized we were going to need some assistance after assessing the situation. We were assisted by the HAZ-MAT team from the Columbus Air Force Base as well as responders from the City of Columbus and the City of Starkville.”
Goza said at least three of the cars were reported to be leaking hydrogen peroxide. As a precaution no entry was allowed in a 500 yard area of the accident.
“This leak was quickly contained,” Gozas said. “We evacuated some homes in the containment area, but people were allowed back in their homes Monday afternoon. It was a very busy day for us — our day started at 1 a.m. when the severe storm came through the area. We set up a command center at First Baptist Church in Hamilton — they were very gracious to let us use their building.”
Goza said that the leak had no adverse affect on the environment and there is no boil water notice for people in the vicinity of the accident.
Officials from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, Mississippi Highway Patrol, Burlington Northern Sante Fe, Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department and several agencies assisted in the cleanup.
According to Monroe County Administrator Sonny Clay, the cleanup effort had been handed over to representatives with BNSF late Monday afternoon.