The Port of Tampa is open again, but hazmat crews are still cleaning up an ethanol spill after a train derailed at the port early this morning.
According to CSX, several cars in an 81-car train overturned around 1 a.m., and three began leaking ethanol. CSX estimates 4,500 gallons of ethanol spilled.
Tampa police say a total of 14 cars were involved in the incident: 11 are on their sides, one is off the tracks and slightly tilted, and two cars on the tracks bookend the other cars.
Captain Lonnie Benniefield of Tampa Fire and Rescue said rain and lightning dampened their initial efforts to contain the leaked ethanol with foam, and it will likely take all day to clean up the mess.
"The ethanol on the ground, we're going to be applying foam to cut down on the vapors, the flammability problems, but the labor -- we're talking about 15 or so cars that have to be lifted up again," Benniefield said. "So you can imagine it's going to be some labor-intensive work."
Fire crews say large cranes from Tennessee and Georgia should arrive around 7 p.m. Crews will begin the slow process of removing each train car, which could take more than an hour for each car.
The entire removal and cleanup could take all night into Friday.
The cause of the derailment is still under investigation.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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