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Officials confirm molten sulphur leak after train derails in Lakeland, Florida

Train derails in Florida; molten sulfur leaks
Posted at 4:23 AM, Nov 27, 2017

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Hazmat crews are currently working to contain a molten sulphur leak after a train derailed on Monday morning in Lakeland.

Polk County Fire Rescue responded to the area of Kathleen Road and Strickland Road when a passing by fire truck saw several train cars rolled over and mangled around 1:50 a.m.

Officials say that four of those cars contained molten sulphur, a hazardous material used in making rubber, detergent and fertilizers. Several were reported to be leaking. The CSX freight train derailed approximately nine rail cars.

Officials on the scene told Tampa-based WFTS that there was a small fire that was immediately controlled.

According to NASA, molten sulfur can burn your skin if you come into contact with it and make it difficult to breathe. The compound smells like rotten eggs and when exposed to fire, it can turn into poisonous gas.

CSX personnel and contractors have responded to the site to assess the situation and develop a plan to remediate the scene, re-rail the affected cars and restore service.

No injuries have been reported as a result of this incident.

At this time there are no evacuations; however, residents along Strickland Road are asked to stay in their homes, close their windows and shut off their air conditioners. The Polk County Sheriff’s office is going door-to-door notifying residents on Strickland Road about the shelter in place order.

Parents are being asked to monitor their children closely to make sure they remain indoors.

The train involved in the incident was traveling from Waycross, Georgia, to Winston, Florida and comprised three locomotives, 120 loaded rail cars and 72 empty rail cars. The train was carrying a variety of freight, including molten sulphur, cardboard, oats and rock.