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Ethanol spills from derailed train

Published: Monday, Dec. 31, 2012 8:00 a.m. CDT

MOUNT VERNON (AP) — Authorities in southern Illinois are trying to determine what caused a train derailment that spilled a few thousand gallons of ethanol.

No injuries resulted from the accident involving eight Norfolk Southern cars on Sunday in a mixed industrial and residential area near Mount Vernon.

Assistant Mount Vernon Fire Chief Kevin Sargent estimates that about 3,400 to 5,000 gallons of ethanol spilled from a 30,000-gallon tanker car before crews stopped the leak.

He says the low temperatures suppressed the ethanol vapors, and no homes were evacuated.

State environmental and emergency management officials were notified.

Sargent says Norfolk Southern on Sunday was working with contractors to fix the tracks and ensure that the spill was cleaned up. Sargent expects the repairs could take several days.

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