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CSX to help those affected by rail mishap

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WILLARD, Ohio — A CSX Transportation outreach center to arrange compensation for people affected by a chemical spill this week in the company’s railroad yard in Willard, Ohio, is to open today, while officials will meet to decide whether those still evacuated may return home.

CSX representatives will staff the outreach center at Christian Alliance Church, 1609 Conwell Ave., from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily for “as long as it is needed,” spokesman Gary Sease said.

About 400 households were evacuated early Wednesday after a tank car involved in a yard-switching derailment late Tuesday leaked about 13,000 gallons of styrene monomer, a flammable chemical, in a part of the railyard northwest of town.

Most residents were allowed to return Thursday. A few dozen homes closest to the spill site remained off-limits.

CSX provided hotel rooms and food, including a Thanksgiving dinner Thursday at Willard High School, for people displaced.

Those seeking further compensation from the company should bring identification and proof of residency to the outreach center, and showing receipts for evacuation-related expenses also would be helpful, CSX said in a statement.

The accident shut a CSX main line normally used by scores of freight trains each day. Mr. Sease said trains resumed running Friday in the yard and on one of three main tracks that pass around it. The cleanup closed the other two mains.

“We’re pretty much pushing one train through after another to work off the backlog,” the spokesman said, noting that reduced operations during the holiday had reduced the number of delayed shipments needing to get through.

Contact David Patch at: dpatch@theblade.com or 419-724-6094.

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