WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Emergency crews have lifted six derailed train cars back on the tracks near the Love Grove community in Wilmington. Emergency crews are still on the scene, and Wilmington Police are monitoring traffic around King and Railroad Streets.
Six cars of the CSX train jumped the track around 5:00 Friday morning. Emergency officials said four of the six cars contained a flammable material known as Xylenes, but none leaked out of the containers. The other two cars did not have anything inside.
While King Street was closed, crews from CFPUA and the City of Wilmington Streets Division built a temporary road so that residents could leave and so that emergency vehicles could get in.
Before the emergency access route was built, a helicopter would have been the only way to help someone in the case of a medical emergency. If people needed to get somewhere, they had to walk out on foot.
The first row of homes, which is about 10 properties, from King Street to Wynwood were evacuated around 8:00 a.m. as a safety precaution.
Officials say approximately 300 feet of the rails were destroyed.
A small maintenance crew from CSX Railroad responded to the scene. Originally they were expecting help from a crew in Marion, SC, but were told later in the day crews would come from Richmond, VA and Carthage, NC instead.
Neighbors said they've been telling City officials for years that another access to the community is a necessity. While Ron Sparks was on city council, he said people constantly came up to them asking for another way in and out of Love Grove.
While studies were conducted, another access was never built.
Neighbors are hoping this derailment will show just how important another entrance could be for Love Grove and how one could prevent a situation like this from happening again.
A unified command post of WFD, WPD and NHREMS is managing the scene. The Coast Guard is also on standby in case the cars start to leak.
Engineers with CSX are investigating the scene to determine what caused the train derailment. CSX Hazmat Manger Harry Hopes said results could come in as early as 24 hours with a cause and no later than within 30 days.
Stay with WECT for continuing coverage.