News Alert: Train Derailment St. Landry Parish 4 August 2013
Posted: 8/5/2013 11:14:57 AM
Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center


4 August 2013

about 1531 hours on August 4, a Union Pacific train derailment occurred at
milepost 586.25 in St. Landry Parish, Lawtell, LA. The train with a total of 76
cars and two locomotives derailed 23 cars between the towns of Lawtell and
Opelousas due to unknown causes.  There were no fires or explosions caused
by this derailment.  No fatalities or injuries have been reported.


the 23 derailed cars, 4 of them are of concern:

1 car contains vinyl chloride, is damaged but
not leaking.

1 car contains becanol, an environmentally
hazardous material and is leaking from the air intake valve.

1 car has corrosive liquid and is also leaking
from its air intake valve.

1 car is leaking non-regulated lube oil.


At about 1900 hours, LSP HAZMAT and Union Pacific HAZMAT
had personnel investigate to confirm what chemicals are involved and the status
of the cars. The cars derailed to the north side of the tracks so the initial
assessment could not determine if there is additional damage to the sides of
the car against the ground.


US Hwy 190 east and west bound lanes are closed to all
traffic and will remain closed until further notice.


The railroad line has been closed until damaged cars can
be cleared.


Air monitoring has been conducted with no hazardous
readings reported.


There are no impacts to water or sewage systems at this


A 1-mile radius was evacuated from the incident site as a
precaution and will remain in place until further notice.  St. Landry
Sheriff's Office went to 101 homes to notify residents of the evacuation and
reported 104 residents were displaced.  American Red Cross reported about
30 families had registered with four families so far asking for assistance which
has been provided.  Displaced personnel that need assistance are being
processed at the Delta Grand Theater in Opelousas and will be set up in local
hotels as needed. No shelters have been established so far. Displaced residents
will be escorted to their residents to collect pets and essentials as needed.


A staging area/incident command has been set up just west
of Opelousas on US Hwy 190 at the Caribbean Club.


Union Pacific and USES (contracted by Union Pacific) have
dammed a drainage canal to contain the leaking material.   Final
assessment will determine the actual extent of damage to the known affected
cars, if any additional cars are damaged and the extent and length of time for


A briefing on the situation was provided to Governor
Bobby Jindal on 4 August at the staging area location.


5 August 2013

As of 0530 hours 5 August, LSP reported that all leaks
have been stopped or contained.  Vacuum trucks are being used to capture
free standing liquids.  Four cars have been moved out of the hot zone and
four hopper cars have been moved to begin rebuilding the track bed.  They
are working on up-righting the car with vinyl chloride. Once that is done, they
will transfer the material to another car. There is no timeline on when that
will be accomplished.  Evacuations will remain in place until they vinyl
chloride has been transferred. The latest information on displaced residents is
120-150 residents have been set up in 38 local hotel rooms due to this




Parish OEP, EMS, Sheriff's Office, parish EMS and local
fire department assets responded to the incident.


A parish declaration will be submitted but no requests
for state resources have been made so far.




GOHSEP Region 4 Coordinator deployed to the staging area
location to provide assistance and updated reports as needed.


Operations created WebEOC Incident 027-13 Train
Derailment St. Landry Parish 4 August 2013.


GOHSEP is currently working on a State Declaration for
this incident.



LSP Emergency Services:  

Currently on the scene and assisting with this



Has been monitoring this event since the event
occurred.  The LSP EOC will continue to monitor this event and assist as
needed.   The LSP Mobile Command Post was deployed to the affected
area on 8/05/2013.


LSP Troop I:

Has assigned 1 LSP Supervisor and 4 Troopers to assist
with road closures in the affected area as a result of the Train Derailment.


LSP Air Support: 

An LSP Senior Pilot is at the location assisting in the
event by conducting Air Reconnaissance when needed.


LSP Public Affairs:

Is on-scene and will handle all LSP media information and
LSP press releases pertaining to this incident.  



Deployed personnel to coordinate with American Red Cross
on assistance to evacuated personnel


DCFSA mobilized Deputy Secretary of Programs to the
American Red Cross Information Center.


DCFS Regional Coordinator and Deputy Secretary of
Programs will be in theater to provide SA to DCFS.  



Deployed personnel to assist as needed



Deployed personnel to assist with air monitoring.



Deployed personnel to assist evacuees



Have HAZMAT and other personnel on scene assisting with
the situation.



On scene ready to assist as needed.


GOHSEP Operations is
monitoring the situation and will continue to update and report if needed.


Melton J. Gaspard Jr.


Office of Homeland

and Emergency Preparedness




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