Train Derailment Halts Midland County Road - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Train Derailment Halts Midland County Road

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND COUNTY - On Thursday morning, Midland County businesses at County Roads 1285 and 127 were getting work done just like every other day.

Until just after 9 a.m., when five rail cars found themselves off the rails and on the road.

"They were loaded at the chemical facility. Union Pacific was taking those cars out to the main railroad line. In the process, these cars came off the tracks and sat down upright right beside the rails," Midland Assistant Fire Marshal, David Hickman, said.

The derailment closed down parts of County Road 127 and Midland County fire units and law enforcement were on scene to ensure public safety.

Suddenly every nearby residence and business was put on standby evacuation.

"Basically it's evacuation. We would assemble at a specified area, make sure we have a head count and then everybody would be removed from the property," President of West Texas Drum Company, Charles Ridge, said.

The derailment put the brakes on some local businesses.

Several told NewsWest 9, they lost valuable shipments and deliveries.

Others said they had to rush their work in case the evacuation signal went off.

Nearby Midessa Oil Patch RV Park warned the occupants of all 133 of their mobile homes, cabins and tents that the call to get out could come at anytime.

There were no injuries during the derailment but the greatest danger lied inside of the tanks.

Chemicals called methanol, xylene and ethylene glycol, all of them are dangerous to inhale and flammable.

"It is ignitable," Ridge said. "If we were to have a flash of flame, it would certainly ignite and create a nice combustion."

Thankfully, all cars remained upright and had no leaks, so no evacuations were called for.

Nexeo Solutions, a chemical business on County Road 127, were the movers of the cars.

Nexeo arrived on scene to take care of the chemicals.

"They're going to unload them and then they're going to bring out some boom equipment to pick these cars up and put them directly back on the line again," Hickman said.

Crews will continue to work long into the night to make sure this derailment stays a safe accident and that each car gets back on the right track.

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