Train cars derail in rural Kentucky, hitting natural gas line; no injuries reported

Saturday, July 31st 2004, 11:35 am
By: News On 6

ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) _ About 20 cars of a freight train derailed in rural northeast Kentucky early Saturday, hitting a natural gas line and forcing about 45 people to evacuate, state police said.

No one was hurt when the CSX train cars left the tracks in Beattyville shortly after midnight, state police dispatcher Rebekah Wright said.

Residents were evacuated because officials smelled gas leaking, Trooper Chris Yavorcik said. The evacuation order lasted only two hours.

Yavorcik said Columbia Gas of Kentucky was still trying to fix a ruptured natural gas line at midday Saturday.

State police closed an interstate and bridge, but reopened both within four hours, Yavorcik said.

CSX spokeswoman Jane Covington said company officials were on the scene investigating. The train was carrying steel coil from Columbus to Cincinnati, she said.

Beattyville is a small town about 100 miles northeast of Lexington.