Cleanup continues after a massive train derailment in northeastern Louisiana’s, Mer Rouge on Sunday.
The trailer of Daniel Shackleford’s (of Freedom, Missouri) rig (owned by Northfield, Minnesota’s Taylor Truck Line) became stuck on a Highway 165 railroad crossing as a train was barreling towards him.
Unable to move the rig, Shackleford safely bailed out of the truck.
Unfortunately, the Union Pacific train’s engineer and conductor were both injured at the time of the accident – they are now both in stable condition.
A total of 13 train cars and 2 engines were involved in the collision.
According to Police Chief Mitch Stephens, 50 houses had to be evacuated for 2 hours prior to the accident due to concerns about the safety of a pressurized argon gas tank. – Emergency responders were concerned about the possibility of an explosion.
A secondary tank filled with non-toxic argon gas (used to fill lightbulbs and for arc welding) was punctured, and leaked all of its contents.
The site is no longer a safety hazard for Mer Rouge residents, and cleanup is in progress.
According to Chief Stephens, this isn’t the first incident of it’s kind in the area: “We’ve had three fatalities down here at this other crossing and this is the second 18 wheeler crash we have had right here.”
Mer Rouge Mayor, Johnny McAdams reflects: “We’re lucky that wasn’t one of our oil trains that we get 10 times a day. If it had been an oil train, we would have had a fire and then we would have had fatalities.”
The tracks will reopen on Tuesday, October 7th.
• U.S. 165 Southbound-Louisiana 140 West to U.S. 425 South (at Log Cabin)
• U.S. 425 Northbound-Louisiana 3051 West to U.S. 425
• Louisiana 2 Westbound-LA 585 South to Louisiana 134 West to U.S. 425