ICYMI: Train derails in Choudrant Wednesday afternoon

Photo credit: Malcolm Butler

Emergency responders dealt with a train derailment east of Choudrant Wednesday afternoon. 

Matt Henderson of the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office reported no injuries were reported, and no evacuations were imminent.

The westbound Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) train derailed after 3 p.m. Wednesday between Choudrant and Calhoun.

Henderson said railroad officials were at the scene and numerous other agencies had responded including Lincoln Parish Fire District #1, Choudrant Fire, Ruston Fire, Ouachita Parish Fire, Louisiana State Police, and the Lincoln Parish Office of Homeland Security. 

The Pleasant Grove Road and Crocker Road railroad crossings were closed to traffic. Motorists were advised to avoid the area. 

Sheriff Stephen Williams told Lincoln Parish Journal the train had broken into three sections, with one section still upright, another section upright but one car had lost its axles, and a third section with about 23 to 24 rail cars was off the tracks and “scrambled up pretty good.”

Williams said while there were cars used in hauling hazardous materials on the train, they were believed to be empty and there was no immediate threat to the public. 

UPDATE (5:20 p.m.): Williams said no evacuation is needed at this time. Recovery equipment will be arriving within the next few hours and crews will work through the night. Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s deputies will be posted at the area throughout the night.

No cause of the accident had been determined by publication time. Lincoln Parish’s most recent derailments in 2007 and September 2011 occurred at approximately the same location.

Updates will follow when more information becomes available.