Cleanup continues after Beaufort County train derailment

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BLOUNTS CREEK, NC (WITN) - Railroad officials say they expect track repairs to be completed later today from that New Year's Day train derailment in Beaufort County.

Norfolk Southern says 12 tanker cars carrying molten sulfur derailed from a 97-car CSX train around 1:50 a.m. Tuesday.

The CSX train was operating on Norfolk Southern tracks and was headed to the phosphate mine in Aurora.

Crews have so far been able to re-rail five of the tankers and moved them, while seven cars remain at the site near Stilley Station Road in Blounts Creek.

Norfolk Southern says between 6,000 and 8,000 gallons of the molten sulfur escaped from the tankers. The sulfur is transported as a liquid, but cools rapidly and solidifies, according to the railroad.

The hardened sulfur will be removed and replaced with new soil, Norfolk Southern told WITN News.

The cause of the derailment remains under investigation, while Stilley Station Road should reopen later today.


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First responders in Beaufort County are on the scene of a train derailment in the Blounts Creek community.

Beaufort County Fire Marshal Curtis Avery says a CSX train carrying molten sulfur derailed around 1:50 am.

Blounts Creek Fire Chief David Williams says eleven tanker cars derailed and Stilley Station Rd. is shut down near the intersection with Highway 33.

Norfolk Southern Railroad, which owns the tracks, is bringing in a contractor with heavy equipment to remove the tankers.

The train was bound for Nutrien Aurora Phosphate in Aurora, formerly known as PCS Phosphate.

Avery says there was a slight fire initially that has since been contained by several responding agencies.

Beaufort County Emergency Management, North Carolina Emergency Management, the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office, Highway Patrol, a hazmat team from Williamston Fire-Rescue-EMS and Chocowinity EMS all responded.

No injuries have been reported. Avery says there is no threat to the community.

The cause of the derailment is under investigation.