Residents return home following evacuation due to train derailment; investigation continues

Photo provided by Louisiana State Police.
Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 10:34am

Residents who were forced to evacuate their home due the derailment of train cars hauling toxic chemicals were allowed to return to this morning.

On Thursday, Aug. 8, roughly 150 people were allowed to return to their homes located in the town of Lawtell located in St. Landry Parish. A deputy escorted each resident home and DEQ completed individual air quality tests.

The train derailed on Sunday, Aug. 4 at roughly 3:30 p.m. The Union Pacific train lost roughly 23 out of its 76 railcars, and some of those contained hazardous materials. Investigators have not yet determined what caused the accident.

"Union Pacific is committing the resources here today and in the future and will work with these agencies in this room to take care of everything that happened from this derailment,” Drew Tessier, Director of Public Affairs for Union Pacific, said. “We're going to be here long after all the cars are gone, working with the citizens here in St. Landry to take care of all issues,"

Governor Jindal has issued a State of Emergency to allow for the “full police power of the state” to be used in the clean up of the area. The Louisiana State Police has led the operation.

Click here to view a photo gallery of images from the train derailment.


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