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Families return home as officials clean up train derailment

PERRY COUNTY — Emergency officials have lifted the mandatory evacuation for areas north of U.S. Highway 98 due to a train derailment near New Augusta.

Each family was escorted by local law enforcement officials and teams to monitor the air quality in each home to ensure no contamination was detected.

“All responding agencies have done a good job protecting the environment and citizens of Perry County,” said Perry County Sheriff Jimmy Dale Smith. “The railroad company has worked well with us, and will continue to assist us with the clean-up. We are happy to have everyone back in their homes.”

The tank carrying methanol has been secured.

Nineteen railcars derailed near New Augusta, closing U.S. Highway 98 for several hours on Friday. The eastbound side of U.S. Highway 98 was opened to two-lane traffic for east and west travel late Friday evening.

At the time of the derailment, five cars were leaking materials: three leaking crude oil, one leaking liquid fertilizer and one leaking methanol.

No injuries have been reported.

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