Train Derails In Paulina: Residents of Paulina are being told to leave their homes and roads are being closed while a hazmat team gets to the scene.
ST. JAMES PARISH, La. — Following the derailment and puncturing of a railroad car carrying 20,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid which resulted in a leak of the chemical approximately 150 people of the Paulina hamlet in St. James were forced to flee their homes.
150 people in St James Parish evacuated from their homes after a train derails in Paulina leaking hydrochloric acid. The train company is bringing in a clean up crew but parish leaders say people could be out of their homes a day or more. Shelter set up at Lusher Senior Center
— Katie Moore (@katiecmoore) November 2, 2022
Sheriff Wily Martin of the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office stated that the event took place around 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday close to the intersection of Perry Road and Bourgeois Road. In total, six vehicles went off the track. The authorities have stated that they do not yet have conclusive evidence regarding the reason why the train derailed.
Those that were evacuated were transported to the Lutcher Senior Center, and it is believed that no injuries were sustained.
Martin stated that “people have been moved out of the way.” If the wind shifts, it’s possible that we’ll have to do more. Martin said to The Advocate that deputies were forced to cover their mouths in order to avoid inhaling the noxious smells as they went door to door in an attempt to get people to evacuate.
The State Police have stated that despite the fact that the leak is contained in a single car, there is a significant tear in the car and as a result, “there is no real means to confine it.” A representative for the State Police asked the public for patience after indicating that a resolution could take some time to come about.
Martin stated that teams will be arriving to unload a significant quantity of the acid so that it would not all leak out. Inhaling hydrochloric acid which is an irritant can cause irritation to the respiratory system, specifically the lungs and throat.
Highway 642 has been shut down in the vicinity and Highway 44 has been shut down for approximately a half mile in either direction at the scene of the accident.
Highway 44 was totally closed between LA 3193 and 3214 in Convent, according to a news statement that was distributed by St. James Parish. The only exception was made for local traffic, which was allowed to travel to their homes from LA 3193 in Lutcher to Antioch to Paulina.
In addition, the press announcement stated that residents of Hester to 3214 may easily access their homes. They recommend that residents who live close to ADM to Carlos Bar in Paulina on 44 and residents who live north of the railroad track on 642 to Snyder Road should leave their homes and head to the Lutcher senior facility as soon as possible.
“Please be sure to call any elderly families in your community that does not have access to social media and convince them to evacuate. In the event that you are unable to make arrangements to evacuate, please phone (225) 562-2200 so that alternatives can be explored “according to the press release.
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