Train carrying propane tanker derails in Florida, no leakage reported


(NEW YORK) — Six train cars, including two carrying propane, derailed in Manatee County, Florida, on Tuesday, according to the train’s operator, Seminole Gulf Railroad.

There is no immediate danger or leaks and no one was injured, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Robert Fay, vice president with Seminole Gulf Railroad, told ABC News that six rail cars derailed. Five cars went completely on their sides; four were carrying sheetrock and one was a propane tanker. A sixth car, also a propane tanker, derailed but that car stayed upright, Fay said.

None of the LPG, or liquified petroleum gas, on either car leaked out, Fay said.

The Southern Manatee Fire Rescue said that hazmat and fire crews are working to turn the cars upright.

According to Seminole Gulf Railroad, four train cars were hauling sheetrock and one tank car flipped over. One car was described as “half-derailed” and upright.

The derailment comes as East Palestine, Ohio, continues to grapple with cleanup after a Northfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials derailed earlier this month, causing ongoing concerns and anxiety for residents, as well as increased scrutiny of railway protocols and demands for reform.

The salvage operation in Florida will take multiple days, with a spokesperson for Seminole Gulf Railroad saying that restoration efforts will be completed by March 6, according to Southern Manatee Fire Rescue Chief Robert Bounds.

One of the tipped-over train cars was carrying 30,000 gallons of liquid propane, Bounds told ABC News.

Since the tanker is undamaged, crews will not try to offload the propane, instead lifting the car with the contents within the tanker.

According to Bounds, a 100-foot section of the railroad is “snapped in half” and uprooted.

“It’s kind of a domino effect,” he said. “The one car jumped the track and flipped, and that’ll pull the next car, and so on and so on until the inertia stops enough that the last car just unbuckled.”

Bounds said that an effort to upright the propane tanker would occur in the coming days.

According to Bounds, crews monitoring the site are equipped with gas-monitoring equipment and local businesses have been notified about the derailment.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is providing security near the site.

“The scene is as safe as it can be right now. Short of that tank being on its side, there is no problem,” Bounds said.

The Florida Department of Transportation will investigate the incident.

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