CSX blames bad bearing for Florida derailment

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Lakeland, Fla.
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LAKELAND, Fla. — CSX officials are blaming a Monday-morning derailment in Florida mechanical fault in the train.

"While the formal investigation into the derailment continues, preliminary indications suggest that the cause of the derailment was a faulty bearing on one of the railcars," a CSX Transportation representative said in a news release. "Throughout this process, CSX has conducted continuous air-quality monitoring to ensure the safety of nearby residents, the public and workers at the scene."

CSX says that nine cars of a 192-car train headed from Waycross, Ga., to Winston, Fla., derailed in Lakeland early on Nov. 27. Four of the derailed cars were carrying molten sulphur, which the railroad representative said is a hazardous chemical used in making rubber, detergent, and fertilizers.

It was not clear whether the car with the faulty bearing was one of the ones that derailed. Nine cars in total derailed; the remaining 183 cars and three locomotives composing the train remained on the tracks.

One of the derailed cars spilled several thousands gallons of molten sulphur, which prompted the local sheriff's department to issue a precautionary shelter in place order for residents in the immediate area. A second car leaked a similar quantity of cooking oil.

CSX crews reopened the line by late Tuesday morning and said that efforts to clean up the wreckage, remediate spilled cargo, and reopen the roads were ongoing into Tuesday evening.

"CSX appreciates the support of the Polk County Sheriff's Office in maintaining the public's safety around the site of the derailment, and the patience of our neighbors as we work as quickly as possible to restore this site," the representative said.

No injuries were reported as a result of the derailment. CSX said that it has involved the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in its remediation plans, and that none of the spilled materials contaminated nearby water sources. The company has also conducted tests to monitor air quality and says that the derailment has not released any detectable levels of pollution into the air.
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