Kentucky’s governor has declared a state of emergency following a freight train derailment.

Kentucky Governor Declares State of Emergency After Train Derailment in Rockcastle County

On Wednesday, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency following a freight train derailment in Rockcastle County. The incident involved at least 15 train cars, including two sulfur dioxide cars which resulted in the spillage of their contents. As a result, the towns of Livingston and Piney Branch have been evacuated, with an emergency Red Cross shelter established at a local middle school.

The train, operated by CSX, derailed shortly before 2:30 on Wednesday afternoon, with one member of the two-person crew treated at the scene for minor injuries. Kentucky emergency management officials have confirmed that no one was hospitalized as a result of the derailment.

As of 8 a.m. Thursday, emergency officials reported that a fire was still burning at the site of the derailment. However, firefighting efforts have been successful in eliminating much of the sulfur dioxide that was released into the air as a result of the derailment and subsequent fire.

Governor Beshear stated, “By issuing a state of emergency, we are ensuring that every state resource is available to help keep our families safe. Please stay clear of this area as state, local, and CSX officials respond.” In response to the incident, the state’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated to Level 4, and the State’s Energy and Environment Cabinet Emergency Response Team is currently on the scene.

Rockcastle County Middle School has set up approximately 100 cots to serve as an overnight shelter for residents in the Livingston area who have been asked to evacuate due to the chemical spill from the train derailment.

The declaration of a state of emergency comes as authorities continue to assess the environmental impact of the derailment and containment efforts. It is understood that the investigation into the cause of the derailment is ongoing.

The community is advised to stay updated on the situation as it develops and adhere to any instructions from local authorities. The emergency response teams remain on the ground, working to address the situation and ensure the safety of all residents affected by the incident.

Governor Beshear extended his gratitude to all the emergency response personnel involved in the effort to contain the situation and support the affected communities. The priority now is focused on ensuring the safety and well-being of those impacted by the aftermath of the train derailment.

In light of the ongoing situation, residents and commuters are reminded to heed any further advisories from local authorities and to stay clear of the affected area until the situation is resolved.

The environmental impact of the train derailment is yet to be fully assessed. Local and state authorities have urged residents to remain attentive to any updates regarding the situation and to follow the directives of emergency response teams on the ground.

The incident underscores the importance of maintaining the safety and security of transportation infrastructure, as well as the need for effective emergency response protocols in the event of such incidents.

As the investigation into the train derailment unfolds, residents are encouraged to stay informed and cooperate with authorities as necessary measures are taken to address the situation and prevent any further risks to public safety.

The State of Emergency declaration serves as a reminder of the potential hazards associated with transportation of hazardous materials and the importance of effective emergency response measures to mitigate the impact of such incidents on local communities.

The swift and coordinated response by emergency management officials and first responders has been essential in managing the aftermath of the train derailment and ensuring the safety of the affected communities.

As the situation continues to evolve, it is imperative that the community remains vigilant and responsive to guidance from local authorities to ensure the safety and well-being of all residents. Ensuring that the necessary resources are available to support the affected communities is paramount in the emergency response efforts.

The ongoing incident serves as a reminder of the importance of preparedness and effective response measures in addressing emergencies that may arise from transportation accidents and the transportation of hazardous materials. The community is encouraged to remain vigilant and prepared for any further developments in the train derailment incident.