GEORGETOWN, Ky. – Two freight trains collided and derailed shortly before midnight, injuring four people and igniting a fire that forced residents to evacuate, authorities said Monday.
Residents were evacuated “out of an abundance of caution after the crash was reported at 11:14 am, Lexington Fire Lt. Jessica Bowman told The Associated Press. Bowman said she could not confirm what substance had spilled and burned, but the people were allowed to return home as soon as the safety risks were excluded.
The police told the Scott County School superintendent Kevin Hub, to schools as emergency shelters, and buses were sent to the area to collect people without transport. Hub said he could see smoke billowing from the scene and they were prepared to hundreds of people. The Red Cross even arrived with snacks. Shortly after the many of the inhabitants came, they were able to return home.
Bowman said she had no information about the four wounded and their conditions. The crash is still under investigation.
At Lemons Hill Elementary, Christina Griffen said she was asleep when neighbors called her around 11:30 p.m. to say that they had to evacuate. As she and her son were leaving, an officer, who warned them to get out of the neighborhood, ” she said.
Betty Boyner had just laid down when she heard what she thought was something exploded.
“We thought, what the hell is that? Is it a train? Was it a trailer? We didn’t see smoke,” she said. When she got a phone call from her son in Missouri the question of whether they were evacuated. He had apparently received a text message from a friend who saw the accident on Facebook, ” she said.
She picked up her purse and a pillow and went to the lower school.
“I need you at 6 am in the morning to go to work,” she said. “That ain’t happening.”