By Therese Apel
JACKSON, Miss. Jan 31 A Canadian National
Railway Co train carrying fuel oil and other hazardous
materials derailed and was leaking in southeast Mississippi on
Friday, forcing the evacuation of nearby residents, officials
No one was injured in the incident which involved the
derailment of 21 railcars, eight of which have spilled their
contents, a Canadian National Railway spokesman said.
Several of the cars were carrying hazardous materials
including fertilizer and methanol, but there was no fire, he
The accident, the latest in a string of North American train
derailments over the past year, occurred in the city limits of
New Augusta in Perry County, near a mobile home park, according
to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
Emergency services were on the scene and responding to the
accident, local officials said.
Local sheriff Jimmy Dale Smith said that fewer than 20
people have had to be evacuated at last count.
"They've got these spills pretty much contained and secured,
and we're working on starting the cleanup process at this
point," Smith said from the scene. "Hopefully we can get
everything cleaned up this afternoon and get people in their
Friday's accident follows a spate of explosive derailments
of trains carrying crude oil over the past year that has raised
questions about safety, especially of some older tank cars prone
Federal regulators have been studying railcar design and
other issues after the accidents, including one last month when
a 106-car BNSF Railway Co train carrying crude east
crashed into a derailed westbound BNSF grain train near
Casselton, North Dakota.
Last July, a runaway oil train derailed and exploded in the
center of the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic, killing 47 people.