BUCKSPORT, Maine — Railway crews were still on the scene Saturday of a trail derailment in Bucksport that tore up roughly 200 feet of track and sent two tanker cars into the Penobscot River.
The 4-car derailment happened Friday evening around 7 p.m. on a stretch of Pan Am Railways tracks that hugs the Penobscot River near the Bucksport-Orrington town line. The 31-car train was headed to the Verso Paper mill in Bucksport with a delivery at the time.
The two cars that ended up partially in the river were carrying liquid latex. Initial reports had suggested that none of the latex had leaked out, but a Pan Am Railways spokeswoman said Saturday afternoon that there was some spillage.
Cynthia Scarano, executive vice president at Massachusetts-based Pan Am Railways, said the latex is nonhazardous and has a neutral pH. The extent of the leak won’t be clear until the tanks have been emptied, she said.
On Saturday afternoon, about a dozen railroad crews could be seen from a nearby property working to repair the roughly 200-foot stretch of track that was damaged during the derailment. Once the track is repaired, Pan Am will transfer the contents of the derailed cars cars into empty cars before bringing in a crane to remove the cars.
Scarano said they are still investigating the cause of the derailment but the company hopes to reopen that stretch of tracks soon.
“Right now it is shut down,” she said. “We are hoping by the end of today or early tomorrow to have the track back in service.”