Major Polk County cleanup after train derailment and molten sulfur spill

KATHLEEN, Fla. (WFLA) — Crews in Polk County are still working to clean up a train derailment and molten sulfur spill.

Kathleen Road was still closed Tuesday morning near Galloway Road as crews continued to clean up the train that derailed early Monday.

Crews in the area came across the scene of the derailment around 2 a.m. while returning from a medical call nearby.

Nine cars of the train derailed. Two of them released fluid onto the tracks, soil and asphalt.

An estimated 12,000 gallons of fatty acid grease leaked into a ditch. About 3,250 gallons of molten sulfur also leaked.

Deputies issued a precautionary “shelter in place” order right after the crash, asking people nearby to stay inside, close their windows and turn off their air conditioning. The order was later lifted.

No surface waters were impacted and sulfur dioxide readings returned to normal. Soil evacuation at the site of the spill is expected to remediate the impacts and authorities do not expect any long-term impact to the environment.

No one was injured in the derailment.

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