Train derails near Bladenboro, forces evacuations


BLADENBORO, NC (WWAY) — Emergency crews received calls about a train derailment in Bladenboro around 3:30 Saturday afternoon. Residents were worried.

“Basically I was on my way down to the supermarket and one of the firemen stopped me. He told me to go back to my house, that we were being evacuated,” said Bladenboro resident Rocky Edwards.

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“I heard this loud boom,” said Dianne McDuffey. “I thought to myself that if it is the train, it must be carrying a mighty heavy load to bump that loud.”

About ten cars overturned in the derailment. One of the cars was carrying ammonia, a hazardous chemical.

“I was told it was a trainwreck,” said Edwards. “And that there were some chemicals, and the wind was blowing in our direction so we needed to get out.”

According to Capt. Rodney Hester, as a precaution, homes between Seaboard Street and Village Street were evacuated. Residents took shelter at Bladenboro Middle School while the Hazmat team investigated the train.

“We did not know for sure what chemicals we were going to be dealing with at that time,” said Hester. “So we did evacuate a couple hundred residents.”

Families were not allowed home until the team confirmed there was no leakage of harmful chemicals. Hester says it appears as if a trestle gave way under the moving train. The axels then separated from the cars…causing the derailment.

There were no leaks, and no one was injured.