IBERIA PARISH, La. (KLFY) — A train hit a truck parked at a railroad crossing in Iberia Parish Monday evening, causing major disruptions in the area. No injuries were reported in the incident.
A train struck an 18-wheeler trailer stuck on the tracks. The driver and conductor are both okay, and the conductor refused medical treatment, officials said.
State Police evacuated the area around the derailment, which has since been lifted.
“About 18 cars were derailed, as of this time there is no evidence of a leak,” said State Trooper Thomas Gossen. “Out of an abundance of caution, we evacuated just the immediate area.”
Billy Talley lives near where the crash happened.
“I was just getting rid of some garbage and then I hear, first thing I heard the impact,” Talley said. “Then I looked down the road and there was a bunch of dust in the air.”
Gossen said the aftermath will be a lasting one.
“We had to wait for heavy equipment to come, one of the rails were bent and under a lot of pressure,” Gossen said. “We had to wait to make sure none of the workers would get hurt, once the equipment could relieve the stress then hazmat could go in and check for leaks.”
Talley says a lot of accidents happen along the highway involving the railroad. He wants officials to be more aware of what is going on and do something about it
“Seems like to me there was some bad communication between police and whoever is involved with the railroad. They should have been aware that a truck was stuck on the track I think,” said Talley.
Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office Public Affairs Director Katherine Breaux said Hwy. 182 remains closed from Hwy. 674 (NW Bypass) to Highway 88. Highway 88 remains open.
BNSF Railway released a statement regarding the incident Tuesday morning.
“BNSF can confirm at approximately 5 p.m. CST Monday, a train struck a semi-truck occupying the Airport Boulevard crossing in New Iberia, Louisiana. The incident resulted in the derailment of 20 rail cars and two locomotives carrying mixed freight. There were no injuries reported to the crew. The railroad crossing is equipped with gates, lights and bells. The cause of the incident is under investigation. Highway 182 is closed in both directions from the Iberia Parish line to Darby Lane as BNSF personnel work with local law enforcement to clear the incident.”
At approximately 5 p.m. Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office began receiving calls regarding a train derailment on La. Hwy. 182 and Airport Boulevard and deputies began to close off nearby roads.
Officials asked that everyone please avoid Highway 182 as crews begin to work to clear the area. This portion of Highway 182 will be closed until further notice. Please plan alternate routes.