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One Year Ago: Two people taken to hospital after rockslide causes Pike County train derailment

Published: Feb. 13, 2021 at 11:51 AM EST
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PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - On the morning of February 13, 2020, a diesel train carrying ethanol derailed outside of Elkhorn City.

Two CSX employees had to be rescued from the scene and taken to the hospital. The train’s diesel fuel leaked out, which led to a fire.

As the tanker cars were filled with Ethanol, in the process of making gasoline, people in the Ratliff Bottom/Draffin area were evacuated as a safety precaution.

Some diesel fuel did get into the river, but officials said it could have been much worse. Two water districts, Mountain Water District and the City of Pikeville were affected by the spill.

Days of continuous rain across the region led to the tracks being covered in mud, which Kentucky State Police say led to the derailment.

Many in the region said it was a day they would never forget.

Witnesses said the sound echoed through the area, bringing people to their windows to see the smoke and fire.

“It’s just less than a mile within my house. We really didn’t realize what was happening,” one neighbor told us during our coverage of the incident. “They won’t talk a whole lot about it.”

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