Crews begin process of raising derailed propane car near Bridgeville

December 27, 2012

Crews this evening began the task of uprighting a propane tanker that was part of a train derailment near Bridgeville earlier today, the first step in moving the rail car and its hazardous cargo away from nearby homes and businesses.

Two large cranes are on the scene to lift the toppled tanker so a complete inspection can occur. If the inspection reveals the car is safe to move, crews will relocate it for offloading of the 33,300 gallons of propane. Inspection and air monitoring, thus far, have shown no evidence of a leak.

The derailment of the 53-car Norfolk Southern train occurred just after 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, Dec. 26, along Wilson Farm Road. Thirteen cars, most carrying gravel, derailed in the accident. No injuries were reported.

As a precautionary measure, some residents in the area of the derailment were evacuated. Evacuees reported to the Bridgeville Volunteer Fire Company. The Red Cross of the Delmarva Peninsula will provide assistance to evacuees, as needed, at the fire company. At this hour, seven evacuees have reported in at the center. Those residents remaining in the area of the derailment are asked to shelter in place at this time.

The Delaware Emergency Notification System, a reverse 911 system, has been set up to call approximately 250 residences should an expanded evacuation be needed. However, no further evacuations are expected at this time.

Further updates will be issued, as needed, after the tanker is raised and assessed.

The Sussex County Emergency Operations Center and Sussex County Emergency Medical Services are assisting Bridgeville Fire Company with the county’s mobile command unit and personnel.