Train derails in Mount Vernon, spills Ethanol

(Source: Mike Mohundro)
(Source: Mike Mohundro)
(Source: Mike Mohundro)
(Source: Mike Mohundro)
(Source: Mike Mohundro)
(Source: Mike Mohundro)

MOUNT VERNON, IL (KFVS/AP) - Police and fire crews were called to the scene of a train derailment in Mount Vernon Sunday morning.

It happened shortly before 6:30 a.m. in the area of Liberty Road and Rackaway. It happened in an industrial area where three trains intersect.

As of Monday morning, all cars have been removed from the tracks and are being repaired.

The tracks have also been repaired, and other trains are moving through the area.

The EPA is monitoring the area where the spill entered a nearby creek, that leak was contained quickly by Hazmat.

They will be conducting water and soil samples regularly.

The damaged cars are being cut up for scrap  and the products they were carrying at the time of the derailment are being delivered this week.

Police say eight rail cars derailed, with one of the cars releasing ethanol. It was pooled up near the train.

A valve broke on a tank carrying ethanol and it leaked on the ground, according to Kevin Sargent, Assistant Fire Chief with the Mt. Vernon Fire Department.

Sargent estimates that about 3,400 to 5,000 gallons of ethanol spilled from a 30,000-gallon tanker car before crews stopped the leak.

He says the low temperatures suppressed the ethanol vapors, and no homes were evacuated.

State environmental and emergency management officials were notified.

Sargent expects the repairs could take several days.

The fire department's Hazmat team responded and is handling the clean up. However, a creek nearby is causing workers concern.

The Environmental Protection Agency is on scene doing air and soil testing. The EPA is also testing water in a nearby creek to see if ethanol spilled in there.

Police say some roads, mainly Liberty at the dog pound and Perkins at Shawnee were closed off.

There have been no evacuations or injuries reported.

Trains in Missouri and Indiana are being re-routed.

Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific and Evansville Western all go through this area.

Union Pacific and Evansville Western are moving very slowly in this area due to crews working on the Norfolk Southern railroad.

Police is asking everyone to remain out of the area to prevent hindering cleanup efforts.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.