Derailment clean-up underway

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NORTH HOOSICK, N.Y. — The cleanup of a North Hoosick train derailment has now been divided into a three-stage process, North Hoosick Fire Chief Alan Bornt announced Friday morning.

Stage one, which was in progress as of Friday mid-morning, consisted of uploading the three toppled propane tank cars. Stage two consists of offloading the propane to other cars, and stage three is purging the tank cars. As of 3 p.m. Friday, one propane tanker had been emptied of its vapors, said Bornt.

The offloading process takes approximately four hours per propane tanker, he said.

Five cars — three 32,000 gallon propane tankers and two empty grain cars — of the 79-car train derailed around 7 p.m. Wednesday on its way to Rutland, and no injuries were reported. Four nearby homes with a total of six to eight residents were evacuated, North Hoosick (N.Y.) Fire Chief Alan Bornt said at a press conference Thursday morning.

All residents except for one who lives closest to the scene were allowed back in their homes by mid-morning Thursday. The other resident was allowed back in his home Thursday evening.

The North Hoosick Fire Department and other fire departments from neighboring towns are overseeing each stage of the clean-up process. Neighboring fire departments, including Bennington, rotated coverage at the North Hoosick Fire Station Friday.

The situation is still being monitored for any propane leaks, but no leaks have been detected by monitoring equipment as of Friday afternoon.

As of Friday afternoon, Bornt did not yet have an estimate when the scene will be cleared, but said that the Pan Am tracks surrounding the derailment were in use.

Christie Wisniewski can be reached at cwisniewski@benningtonbanner.com and at 802-447-7567, ext. 111.


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