SR 60 back open at railroad tracks

TAMPA - State Road 60 is back open to traffic at the railroad tracks near the Port of Tampa where a CSX train derailed Thursday.

Traffic on S.R. 60 was closed at the tracks east of 50th St. The closure was expected to last a week but contractors finished early.

Crews spent the day Friday trying to right the last two of 16 cars that derailed.

An investigation into the cause of the derailment is still underway.

The train had 83-cars, including two locomotives. CSX, which owns the railroad, said 11 cars were tankers carrying ethanol, a fuel additive used in gasoline. Three of those cars leaked 4,500 gallons of ethanol before the spill was contained, CSX said.

Fire crews blasted the ethanol with a chemical foam, and heavy rains throughout the morning helped dilute the water soluble fuel, which is flammable.  Although dangerous if ignited, fire officials said ethanol was not as dangerous as gasoline, which is highly explosive.

The derailment was in an industrial area, and no homes were affected. The two people aboard the train at the time of the accident, an engineer and a conductor, were not harmed.

Based on the speed of the train at the time it left the tracks, less than five miles per hour, the Tampa Fire department did not suspect speeding as a likely cause of the derailment.

The cleanup was placed on hold much of Thursday as CSX crews waited for special equipment to arrive from Nashville and Atlanta, including a crane that can lift tanker cars back onto the tracks.

A permitting delay to allow the wide load equipment to travel the interstates meant the convoys didn't arrive until several hours later than planned.

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