Train cars derail in St. Stephen

Update 1: NBC News 2 has some new information on the train derailment:

Highway 45 is shut down for at least today. There are 9 cars turned over. They were carrying coal to Santee Cooper. The railroad carries only coal, not chemicals. Highway 45 is blocked off with barricades. The police chief says about 100 cars travel it each hour.

Highway 52 is open.


The police chief says they may be here until tonight. He says road may be closed for days since the track and road will need to be repaired.

Also, The Post and Courier has added video coverage from the scene of the derailment.

Original story: Several train cars carrying coal overturned early Tuesday in St. Stephen. Officials say the spilled coal isn't an environmental hazard, but the cleanup could take a while. The derailment happened near the intersection of U.S. Highway 52 and state Highway 45.

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From The Post and Courier:

Troopers responded to the scene near St. Stephen Middle School at 6:06 a.m., according to the Highway Patrol’s Web site. No motorists were hurt, Beres said. Later that morning, flaggers were directing traffic. State Highway 45 westbound remained blocked off at 10 a.m. Troopers and state Department of Transportation workers were directing cars through a nearby neighborhood.

St. Stephen Police Chief John Waters said authorities are working to open that road as soon as possible; the closure probably affects hundreds of drivers each day, he said.


At least 2 CSX cranes are believed to be on their way to start lifting the cars up, which is likely to take a couple of days, Waters said.

Any environmental hazard from the spilled coal has been eliminated, Waters said.

Live 5 News reports that any drivers in the area are being asked to find an alternate route.

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