9.4 Appendix 4 – Aiken County Sheriff's Office Fact Sheet
Contact Lt. Michael Frank
Telephone: (800) 645-6331
Pager: (803) 819-5105
Graniteville Train Collision and Hazardous Materials Spill
Authorities confirm the death toll has risen to eight victims. Five victims were discovered at the following Avondale Mills properties: Woodhead (2); Gregg (2); Steven Steam (1). The remaining victims were found in a truck on Leitner Street, a home on Main Street and at the crash site. Residents in the immediate area of the collision reported breathing difficulty and eye irritation. An estimated number of patients were treated at the following area hospitals.
- Aiken Regional Medical Centers: 87 (1 fatality 20 admissions)
- University Hospital: 80 (17 admissions)
- Medical College of Georgia: 30 (14 admissions)
- Doctor's Hospital: 30
- St. Joseph Hospital: 2 (2 admissions)
- Lexington Hospital: 5 (5 admissions)
Evacuation and Well Being Checks
Law enforcement officers found two deceased victims during evacuation and well being checks. Twelve individuals refused to leave their homes. Those without vehicles were transported by school buses to area shelters.
Norfolk Southern representatives met with National Transportation Safety Board officials for an information exchange. The railroad planned to remove an estimated 26 undamaged railroad cars from the crash site.
As of 7:00 p.m., all HAZMAT responders had departed the crash site until 8:00 a.m. Friday.
A specialized unit from the US Coast Guard, working in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency, is sending an eight-member team to provide HAZMAT and air monitoring expertise.
Declaration of Emergency
Governor Mark Sanford at 12:00 p.m. declared a state of emergency in Aiken County.
Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt imposed a curfew beginning at 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. for Graniteville residents living within a two-mile radius of the crash site.
North: Highway 191, Trolley Line Road to Highway 118
South: Pine Log Road
East: Highway 118 to Pine Log Road
West: Breezy Hill Road; Midland Drive; Legion Road to Pine Log Road
Norfolk Southern Family Assistance Center
Norfolk Southern Railroad has established a family assistance center for employees and their families at First Presbyterian Church, 224 Barnwell Avenue, Aiken. (803) 648-2662
About 2:40 a.m., an Avondale Mills employee reported two Norfolk Southern trains collided in downtown Graniteville, South Carolina. The collision caused the derailment of several cars, which toppled a tree and pinned a motorist inside her automobile. The collision ruptured a tanker car of the second train, which resulted in the airborne release of chlorine.
Residents are instructed to stay at home. Close doors, windows and turn off all ventilation systems. Residents who choose to leave their homes cannot return until authorized by public safety.
The following hazardous materials are present at the incident scene:
- Chlorine: poison gas, corrosive
- Cresol: poison, corrosive
- Sodium Hydroxide: corrosive
For more information, visit the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control: http://www.scdhec.net
Individuals who believe they have been exposed can seek assistance at the following locations:
- University of South Carolina—Aiken gymnasium parking lot.
- Midland Valley High School
Motorists currently are being diverted away from Graniteville. Motorists should seek alternative routes to Augusta and Aiken, including Interstate 20.
Avondale Mills has suspended operations at the following mills in Graniteville and Warrenville: Gregg, Woodhead, Hickman, Swint, Townsend, Graniteville and Warrenville administrative office, Horse Creek, Warren, Stevens Steam, Sage Mill
Employees and their families are directed to seek information from company representatives at First Baptist Church of Aiken, 120 Chesterfield Street, Aiken, South Carolina.
February 6, 2006