Residents still evacuated after train derailment - KLFY News 10

Residents still evacuated after train derailment

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Monday marked the second night residents who live near the train derailment in St. Landry Parish won't be able to sleep in their own beds. Crews are still working to eliminate the threat of toxic chemicals so they can return home.

"The stuff was laying all over right here, it was covered in rail cars," explains Chris Vidrine.

Vidrine's 77 year old mother, was very lucky Sunday afternoon. "They were sitting in the living room, and they just saw the train start rolling over and it rolled all the way over here and blocked their driveway," says Vidrine.

She along with, Vidrine's aunt and uncle were sitting in her house which is less than 50 yards away from the tracks where the 23 cars carrying hazardous materials came off the tracks.

"Thank God my uncle and aunt was with her, and thank god nobody got killed or hurt," says Vidrine, "it disrupts people's lives and it's a big event, but it could have been so much worse."

Vidrine with his uncle, returned to the house to get a car and medication left behind, as his mother has a heart problem. He says it was the courageous effort of one state trooper that got his family out.

"He's got a badge and a gun. He's not suited up to go into a hazmat situation.

Those cars were leaking and smoking, and nobody knew what was going on. He took it upon himself to walk down the tracks and come here." Vidrine's mother is staying with family, but most of the other residents evacuated from the nearly 150 homes in a mile radius were put up in a hotel by Union Pacific.

Sargent James Anderson with state police says it's possible those folks could possibly get back home sometime Tuesday.

"We're gonna get folks back in their homes as quick as we can, but our first priority has to be the safety of everyone involved," explains Anderson.

Anderson says the hazardous vinyl chloride will be transferred to two other rail cars on the track.

"That transfer will commence early Tuesday morning. Union Pacific is making good progress in terms of getting the track rebuilt. That should be completed Monday evening," says Anderson.

State police will hold a press conference Tuesday at 11 a.m. They also say it's possible US Highway 190 could be closed for another couple of days.

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