Norfolk Southern Assisting Residents, Businesses After Georgia Derailment

The Norfolk Southern train was traveling from Macon to Augusta when 37 cars derailed shortly after 8 p.m. Jan. 6. Two of the cars were breached, one releasing hydrogen peroxide and one releasing hydrochloric acid. The levels do not pose a health risk, according to the company.

Norfolk Southern announced Jan. 7 that it would open its Family Assistance Center at 3 p.m. that day at the Jefferson County Emergency Services in Louisville, Ga., to help residents and businesses affected by a Jan. 6 train derailment in Bartow, Ga. Norfolk Southern is compensating affected members of the community for their inconvenience and out-of-pocket expenses. Affected residents are asked to bring a driver's license or other proof of residence, as well as receipts for expenses, in order to receive compensation.

The location is 1841 Highway 24 W. The center was scheduled to be open until 10 p.m. Jan. 7 and again from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Jan. 8.

Norfolk Southern reported that its personnel and environmental contractors worked through the night at the derailment site, where the rail cars are being re-railed or moved to a nearby staging area in order to make track repairs. The Norfolk Southern train was traveling from Macon to Augusta when 37 cars derailed shortly after 8 p.m. Jan. 6. Two of the cars were breached, one releasing hydrogen peroxide and one releasing hydrochloric acid.

"At this time, community members may smell odors related to hydrogen peroxide and hydrochloric acid, but the levels do not pose a health risk. Environmental teams are continuously monitoring the air in Bartow and other community areas surrounding the derailment and will continue monitoring until the chemicals have been removed from the site. Representatives of the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health are available to answer questions regarding the chemicals and air monitoring by calling (478) 607-2335 from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. EST," the company reported. "The safety of the community and everyone working on site is our top priority. We want to thank the area’s fire, police and other first responders for their quick response and continuing assistance as work progresses. We apologize for the disruption this incident has caused. The cause of the derailment is under investigation."

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