Stuck truck in luck; train detained 7/30/2013

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Stuck truck in luck; train detained

 By John Howell Sr.

Como Police Chief Earl Burdette on Monday praised emergency responders who stopped a freight train northbound on the Grenada Railroad line where a truck carrying hazardous materials had become lodged astride the rail crossing.

The Como Police Department was notified about 9:55 a.m. that a semi’s trailer had gotten stuck as it crossed the rails at Compress Road, the town’s northernmost crossing over the rail line.
Dispatchers at the Panola E-911 Emergency Dispatch Center were notified and began contacting first responders and the railroad, Burdette said.

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“They had their hands full for a minute,” he said.

The anxiety was heightened by the truck’s bill of lading that showed the trailer’s contents as “hydroflouric acid and sulpher.”

The approach of a northbound freight increased the tension when first fire and police department personnel heard warning blasts from the approaching train’s air horns. However, by then, contact had been made with the train engineers who stopped the 62-car freight south of the rail crossing at Highway 310.

The Como units were joined by police officers from Sardis, Crenshaw and from Panola County’s Office of Emergency Management.

Sledge Taylor provided a piece of heavy equipment that was able to pull the semi-backwards, freeing the wheels of the tractor and allowing it to back away from the rail crossing about 11 a.m. Burdette said.