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Train Incidents and Accidents Documented in the State of Georgia

January 15, 2019

GEORGIA – An online article from documents the train tracks in Georgia and incidents recently recorded involving trains in the state.* 

On January 6, a train derailed in Jefferson County, Georgia, resulting in a chemical spill in the area. Almost 40 of the train’s cars derailed, and the cars were carrying hydrogen peroxide. The health consequences of the spill are not yet known, but many people were evacuated from the area as a precaution. 

The incident reminded many people of one that occurred 14 years prior. The event was eerily similar, especially because it occurred on exactly the same day – January 6 – in 2005. A train carrying chlorine derailed in South Carolina, and the resulting chemical spill caused hundreds of people to be hospitalized. Nine people lost their lives. Both the train in 2005 and the train in 2019 were owned by Norfolk Southern.

In Georgia, Norfolk Southern has more than 1,700 miles of train tracks. Laid end-to-end, the tracks would span the distance from Miami, Florida, to northern Maine. South Carolina is home to about 700 miles of Norfolk Southern tracks, meaning Georgia has more than double the amount. 

Derailment accidents are self-reported, which means the railroad companies themselves are responsible for reporting them. In 2018 the Federal Railroad Administration logged a total of 322 “accident/incident reporting violations.” These 322 cases are ones in which the railroad companies either failed to report incidents or did not properly report incidents. 

In addition, the Federal Railroad Administration recorded 3,026 HAZMAT violations. Not only are these occurring with some frequency, they are also not being properly handled by railroad companies.  

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Category: Personal Injury

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