Wampsville (WSYR-TV/AP) - Just under a dozen people forced from their homes Monday when a train derailed and exploded were allowed to return Friday morning.
Before residents were allowed back into their homes, they will be checked-over by a member of the Fire Department, Health Department, and CSX to make sure the interior is safe.
Residents returning home were accompanied by a fire official, a health official, and a CSX official to make sure their homes are ok.
A large plume of smoke could be seen coming from the crash scene this morning. Officials say the cold weather Thursday night made the burn even slower. To speed things up, they poked a hole in the side of one of the tanker cars. That enabled the butane inside to leak out. Once they got it out, they were able to do another large controlled burn.
About half of the tanker cars have been removed, but they can’t remove many more until the car stops burning. There are roughly a dozen cars still at the site.
Ferric Chloride, an acid, did leak from the site of the derailment. The mayor's office says while they're not happy about it, they aren't too concerned, because water dilutes it. They are also dousing the area with Lyme and water to flush the spill, but CSW will have to remove all the soil it touched.
As CSX continues to cleanup the site, many controlled burns will continue to happen. These could continue for the next two weeks or so. The burns are necessary since the cars are in such bad shape.
A good portion of Elm Street, near the derailment, will be closed for up to two weeks.
Workers continue to bring stone to the site, as they build new tracks.
28 cars from the 77-car train carrying liquid propane derailed at 7:05am Monday morning. Two of the tankers blew up creating a massive fire which was felt by residents living several miles away. The explosion was located behind the Wal-Mart on Route 5.
The union representing the crew who operated that CSX train says "uneven tracks" caused some cars to derail, leading to the explosion. But the National Transportation Safety Board says an "official" ruling could still be a year away.
The NTSB says it is too early to make such a determination.
Ted Turpin, investigator for the NTSB says the train was travelling at 47 miles-per-hour at the time of the accident. The maximum speed on the tracks is 60 miles-per-hour. CSX had restricted this specific train to 50 miles-per-hour because one of the cars was empty.
Train engineers say they felt a bump in the track and passed over it. Immediately afterwards, rail cars 25 to 53 derailed. The NTSB is taking a piece of the rail for analysis and is interviewing the crew.
Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Boardman said in a statement that the Oneida accident and others in New York State have raised his concern in the past three months.
Boardman says the Federal Railroad Administration is conducting investigations, performing a safety review of railroad bridges in Western New York, and will use an automated track inspection vehicle to check tracks across the state in the spring.
During the initial fire, firefighters could not approach the fire for several hours, due to the severity of the smoke and flames. For safety, the tankers were allowed to burn themselves out.
The CSX Corp. train was headed from Buffalo to Selkirk, just south of Albany, and consisted of 77 cars, 13 of them carrying propane or another chemical.
We are hearing about a scam associated with the train derailment. People claiming to be from the Red Cross are calling around, saying they're raising money to help those displaced by the accident.
The Madison-Oneida Red Cross says it is not collecting money related to the crash and evacuations. If you received a call requesting money, the Red Cross says it's a scam. Call the Red Cross with the details of any call you received, at 363-2900.