Representatives with CSX Corp. confirmed that a train derailed near Kingston Friday morning.
According to CSX Media Relations and Public Affairs Director Cindy Schild the derailment involved 35 rail cars.
“Reports indicate the derailed cars were auto racks and various covered hoppers and box cars containing cement, animal tallow, rice, potatoes, canned goods,” she said in an email statement. “Some diesel fuel has spilled from the refer units along with some lading from the other cars and has been contained.”
Schild indicates that no injuries were reported and that the derailment produced no “impacts” to the local waterways.
“CSX is working closely with first responders to assess the situation,” she said. “The safety of the community and everyone onsite is our top priority as we develop a recovery plan.”
The train was en route from Nashville to Cayce, South Carolina. Bartow County Clerk Kathy Gill indicated the train derailed near Double J Farms along Hall Station Road.
Gill said that Hall Station Road, from State Route 293 to Old Hall Station Road, is expected to remain closed until Monday.
Schild said the derailment is believed to have occurred around 5 a.m.
CSX representatives did not indicate what may have caused the derailment, nor did officials specify when the scene of the accident is expected to be cleared.
Bartow County Administrator Peter Olson, however, said CSX officials on the scene told him the wreckage is anticipated to be cleared by Monday.
"There's one of those car-carrier cars that's skewed off the tracks, pretty much all the way right to the edge of the highway," Olson described the derailment site. "They're taking down trees and they've got a bunch of gravel coming and ties to build a platform to bring that monster crane that's going to help them lift these things up, cut them up and haul them out of here."
Olson said he heard no reports of fires or hazardous material spills as a result of the derailment.
As of 2 p.m. Friday, Olson said CSX was still investigating a possible cause for the accident.
"It was sort of good luck that the wreck occurred in an area where there's not really any houses along this stretch," he said. "It doesn't look like it'll be too inconvenient for residents in the area, other than if you have to go around it and bypass it."
While on the scene, Olson said he observed at least 75 vehicles and "a couple of hundred people" working to clear out the wreckage.
"They've got flatbeds, they've got bulldozers, they've got excavators," he said. "They have a massive mobilization going on."
As the clean-up effort continues this weekend, Olson implored residents to steer clear of the impacted section of Hall Station Road.
"They're dealing with many tons of equipment, they're dealing with large pieces of steel," he said. "There's not a whole lot of room for CSX to work, they've got it pretty full with their equipment ... they're having to squeeze in and do the best they can."
Not that curious onlookers would be able to get very far, Olson added.
"The sheriff's department is going to turn you back a long way from the scene," he said.