TUPELO – A portion of Spring Street near the City-County Building is expected to remain closed through at least mid-Monday as workers continue clearing seven derailed train cars.
Three train cars overturned and another four jumped the tracks Friday as a train attempting to switch tracks near downtown Tupelo derailed.
On Saturday, members of Southaven-based B&P Enterprises worked to suction at least part of the 700 tons of corn being carried by the rail cars. A spokesman for the construction crew, which was contracted by Kansas City Southern, said they expected to finish removing the grain today.
The contractors said a Memphis cleanup crew is expected to be on the scene Monday, using a crane to remove the cars from the track.
The 50-car Kansas City Southern train, which also contained Burlington-Northern cars, was headed south to Bay Springs when it derailed. Tupelo Police Sgt. Jim B. Creson said the train, which was moving at less than 10 mph, was in the process of changing tracks when the accident occurred about 5:30 p.m.
The derailment ruptured a natural gas line. Mississippi Valley Gas crews cut off the gas flow to the line, a company employee said. No customers were affected by the ruptured line.
Sections of the track were also damaged, and train traffic that had been scheduled to use the tracks had to be rerouted Friday night.