Willard: Hundreds evacuated thru Thanksgiving after train derailment

Willard: Hundreds evacuated thru Thanksgiving after train derailment
Evacuees at high school, Willard
Evacuees at high school, Willard

WILLARD, OH (WOIO) - Police say 400 households are affected by a chemical spill on CSX train tracks in Huron County.

The leak happened around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday on North Main Street in Willard.

Upon arrival, police found that the 33,000 gallon railcar was leaking styrene monomer, a highly flammable substance, through a four inch hole.

At a Wednesday afternoon press conference city officials announced that residents will remain out of their homes at least through Thanksgiving.

This after results from initial tests were completed. City officials are asking residents to be patient.

There is still a possibility that residents of part of the evacuated area may not be able to return to their homes for a couple of days.

Willard High School is being used as an emergency shelter.

CSX released the following statement on Wednesday:

CSX Transportation is working with first responders in Willard, Ohio, to assist residents who have evacuated their homes due to a tank car leak. The company is establishing a community outreach center at the Willard Town Hall, and securing hotel rooms for displaced residents. The leak from the tank car of styrene monomer, a flammable product used in the manufacture of plastics, has been stopped. The tank car was damaged in a derailment at the CSX Willard Yard. CSX thanks the first responders for their support, and pledges to work with them and the community to resolve this incident as safely and quickly as possible.

There is really not much of a health threat, but the clean up is the issue.  Any kind of spark could cause a serious explosion or fire.

Another update from city officials is expected sometime Thursday.

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