Cleanup underway after freight train carrying crude oil derails in Plainfield

PLAINFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- A massive cleanup effort is underway in southwest suburban Plainfield after a train derailment sent cars carrying crude oil off the track on Friday.

The derailment happened 6:54 p.m. Friday near Rte. 59 and Riverwalk Court.

Police suggested several businesses nearby to close after the derailment. Many businesses were reopened Saturday morning, except businesses on Riverwalk Court.

The train was passing through the heart of Plainfield. Several roads were closed as a result of the derailment, with most being reopened Saturday morning. Police said Riverwalk Court would likely remain closed for another day or two and 143rd Street would likely reopen Saturday.

No one was injured when the Canadian National train derailed, but it did cause a mess, with 20 of a total of 115 cars affected by the derailment.

"I understand two cars have been confirmed leaking. I understand there is a third that they suspect may be leaking as well." said Mike Beslow of the Environmental Protection Agency. "I was told that one car lost almost its entire contents and another car lost about half of its contents."

An estimated 45,000 gallons of oil were leaked. The oil was all contained, with the Plainfield Fire Department using foam to clean up the oil.

All 20 derailed cars remained on the tracks Saturday morning. The cause of the derailment remains under investigation.

Two major concerns after the derailment were the possibility the oil would catch fire or leak into the nearby DuPage River.

"The DuPage River is in the near vicinity. At this point, none of the crude oil had made it to the river, it has been barricaded off. All efforts are being made right now to make sure that continues," said Plainfield Police Sergeant Mike Fisher.

An official from the EPA said Saturday no off-site impact has been found.

Police also said that while residents may smell crude oil in the air, there is no immediate danger to residents and no resident evacuation plan is in place.

Plainfield police have asked people to stay away from the area. They are trying to clear the spill as quickly as they can but are asking for patience because it is a large scale spill.

The ABC7 I-Team has reported numerous times on the risks posed by trains carrying crude oil.
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