Officials: No Danger to Public; Train Derailment on Campus

By: Gordon Boyd
By: Gordon Boyd

Knoxville (WVLT) - CSX railroad crews are cleaning up what they and Knoxville firefighters call a nuisance spill.

It happened in the terminal transfer services switch yard in the loop of volunteer blvd, just past the Joe Johnson Drive Bridge down by UT Campus.

It's a little bit more complicated than a clean-up on aisle 3 of your home and garden store, but firefighters say that's only because CSX is dealing with several hundred pounds of the stuff.

We're talking about phosphate pellets, the stuff found in lawn and garden fertilizer. A switch engine was moving several cars of the stuff, when an axle gave way, which punctured part of one hopper car and spilled out about four to five hundred pounds of pellets.

CSX called UT and 911, but no buildings had to be evacuated. Two ambulances came out as a precaution and left after about 45 minutes. A hazmat crew is supervising, while CSX crews shovel or scoop up these pellets, most likely into another hopper car.

What's not clear is whether this fertilizer can be reused or if they'll have to dispose of it.

Firefighters believe the scene could be clear by 1:30 or 2:00 p.m., barring any complications.

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