The response to Thursday’s major train derailment and fire in Pike County continued Friday.
Crews worked in the area in preparation of removing the damaged railroad cars and locomotives left behind by the crash. Some areas of the wreckage continued to smolder, and diesel fuel spilled in the Russell Fork River was still burning Friday morning before noon. Pike County Emergency Management Director Doug Tackett said local emergency agencies have mostly completed their response to the derailment and the scene is now mostly in the hands of railroad operator CSX.
The train was hauling ethanol when it crashed into a major landslide and derailed early Thursday morning. The lead locomotive of the train crashed into the Russell Fork River. The other locomotives and several cars piled up at the scene and caught fire.
The two members of the train’s crew were injured in the crash and had to be rescued from the massive blaze and the swollen river by Millard Fire Department’s swift-water rescue team. No other injuries were reported in the wreck.
A total of three locomotives, four ethanol cars and a car hauling sand derailed. Local officials have said local water systems, including Mountain Water District and the City of Pikeville, were not adversely affected by the derailment.