Denison train derailment

By: Nicolette Schleisman Email
By: Nicolette Schleisman Email

DENISON, TX -- A derailment in Denison has some local residents worried, and Union Pacific says they want to clear up any confusion, along with the mess.

Union Pacific says that on Tuesday, June 5th a train carrying Soda Ash derailed, but residents say it happened on Sunday, the 3rd.

There was also no initial report of what the train was carrying, which worried residents when they noticed dead crawfish near the spill site.

Concern about when the spill actually happened is just one of the concerns of people like Terri Barnett, who live nearby.

They say they're more worried about what was inside, and how it could affect them.

"My stock happens to not get to the creek to drink, but if they had I would have been very concerned for them," said resident Terri Barnett.

According to the EPA, UP originally reported no spillage of any sort of substance. Later they said the cars were hauling grain. When an EPA agent got to the scene he saw a white powdery substance which had mixed with water, to raise the pH level of a nearby creek.

"Even if there was a slug of high pH water moving down Shawnee creek, by the time it would get down to Randell Lake, its probably been neutralized to a great degree and even as it is discharged into the lake, that's a large body of neutral water. It would have been this small amount of water that would have been neutralized also," said Mike McAteer, EPA On Scene Coordinator.

But residents say while their relieved their health isn't at risk they aren't happy with how the situation was handled by the train company.

"This water does go into the city's, so they were not only lying to me, but in a sense putting our whole city in danger. Had it been more caustic than it was with them not telling the truth about it," said Barnett.

Union Pacific officials maintain they followed the correct protocol, and because Soda Ash is not harmful on its own, it was not necessary for them to report it.

"We take these matters very seriously. And we are going to do everything we can to conduct a thorough clean up process.. That does include insuring that we replace anything that may have been damaged because of this accident," said Raquel Espinoza, Director of Corporate Relations and Media at Union Pacific.


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