Train Wreck Spills Lye Near County Line

PROCTOR – The investigation continues into what caused a portion of a train to derail and spill between 2.5 and 3 tons of sodium hydroxide pellets near the border of Marshall and Wetzel counties Monday morning.

Sodium hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda.

The train, which is owned by CSX Corp., was comprised of two locomotives and 31 freight cars. It was on its way to Brooklyn Junction, near New Martinsville, when 14 of the freight cars derailed around 2:45 a.m. Monday on property owned by Bayer MaterialScience LLC.

“The derailed cars included several cars of chlorine. However, none of the cars leaked. A small amount of sodium hydroxide, a solid substance, spilled from another car in the derailment,” CSX spokesman Robert Sullivan said.

No one was injured and the incident did not require an evacuation, Sullivan added.

CSX crews responded to the scene to clean up the spill and rerail the cars, Sullivan said.

Officials from Bayer are keeping an eye on the cleanup, as the train derailed near the company’s New Martinsville Industrial Park.

“Bayer safety, hazmat and transportation officials are monitoring the situation. It is undetermined at this time if the incident will disrupt Bayer plant operations,” spokeswoman Kelly Kalmar said Monday.

Kalmar said that none of the train cars contained Bayer material.

Marshall County Emergency Management Agency Director Tom Hart said the New Martinsville, Moundsville and Washington Lands volunteer fire departments responded to the scene, as well as the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and the New Martinsville Police Department.

W.Va. 2 was closed for about 15 minutes.