Chemicals Leak Following Kentucky Train Derailment Caused Evacuations Over Thanksgiving
A CSX train parked in a rail yard in Nashville, Tennessee, US, on Tuesday, June 13, 2023. CSX Corp. is scheduled to release earnings figures on July 20.
Photographer: Liam Kennedy/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

A train derailment in Kentucky on Wednesday caused molten sulphur to spill out of two cars, starting a fire and leading to some residents evacuating the area. 

The derailment, which involved 16 cars, happened at around 2:23 p.m. Wednesday afternoon in an area just north of Livingstone, Kentucky. By Thursday afternoon, CSX, the train operator said that the fire had been put out and residents could go home. 

“CSX and local emergency responders in Rockcastle county, Ky. have extinguished the fire that resulted from yesterday’s train derailment just north of Livingston, Ky. Specialized equipment has been deployed to conduct air monitoring in the area and local authorities have determined it safe for residents to return to their homes,” CSX said in a statement. 

The previous day, CSX said that it had sent specialized equipment to the area to test air quality because burning molten sulphur releases sulphur dioxide. The train operator paid for about 112 residents to go to stay in nearby Mt. Vernon while the fires were put out. 

Evacuation wasn’t required, but government officials did allow residents to decide for themselves if they wanted to leave the area.

“[Evacuation] wasn’t mandated but we went to each one of the homes twice and highly recommended that they evacuate,” said a government spokesperson. “Some people chose to stay at home: that was totally their own decision.”

On Thursday, Governor Andy Beshear (D-KY) said in a statement that he was thankful for those who responded to the fire. 

“Thank you to the first responders who worked hard to put out the fire at the train derailment site in Rockcastle County. While there is still work to be done, we are thankful for the good news that our families in Livingston are able to spend the rest of Thanksgiving at home,” he said. 

In the last year, there has been a spate of train derailments across the country from Alabama to Montana to Ohio, where a derailment in East Palestine cost over $800 million and the release of toxic chemicals into the air. 


After the derailment in East Palestine, train operator Norfolk Southern opted to burn several cars filled with the dangerous chemical vinyl chloride over fears that the cars would explode. The fire sent a cloud of smoke that remained over the town of 4,700 for days. Nearly six months after the disaster, chemicals from the derailment appear to still be present in a creek as trucks continue to haul contaminated water and soil out of the town, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Chemicals Leak Following Kentucky Train Derailment Caused Evacuations Over Thanksgiving