Cades, TN Train Wreck, Feb 1978

150 residents of Cades evacuated following second Tennessee mishap

CADES, Tenn. (UPI) – Civil Defense officials ordered the second evacuation of about 150 residents of this rural West Tennessee community early today while cleanup crews began righting a derailed freight train tanker containing caustic lye.

The tanker was among 25 cars of a 101 car Illinois Central-Gulf train that derailed Suday[sic] afternoon. There were no injuries or fire but residents within a mile of the accident were evacuated to protect them from noxious fumes.

The evacuees were allowed to return five hours later when officials decided there was no immediate danger from the sodium hydroxide.

Among the derailed cars were two empty tankers which had carried liquid propane gas. They were considered “dangerous” because any vapors still inside them could explode, and authorities ordered residents evacuated again early this morning while the cars were put back on the tracks.

Officials said the evacuees were sent to high schools in Milan and Bradford for about eight hours until cleanup operations were over.
The derailment occurred 80 miles west of Waverly, where a derailed propane tanker exploded Friday, killing 12 people and injuring 50 more.

Kingsport Times Tennessee 1978-02-27