Two R.J. Corman workers injured after fire erupts at train derailment

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WKYT/AP) - Two of the three workers injured cleaning up at the site of Monday's train derailment in southwest Louisville worked for Nicholasville-based R.J. Corman Railroad Group.

The men were injured and burned after a fire erupted while they worked to remove debris, according to Noel Rush, vice president of finance and administration at R. J. Corman. Rush told WKYT the two men who worked for the company lived in St. Louis.

WKYT has learned the Corman crew had worked this morning on three derailed cars containing chemicals without any problems. They were cleared to begin work on the last derailed car, but within seconds of using an acetylene torch, an explosion erupted around noon. Both Corman workers were airlifted to University Hospital in Louisville.

"Obviously we are quite saddened," Rush said. The company says an investigation is underway.

The other man injured worked for Paducah and Louisville Railway.

Doug Hamilton, director of the Louisville Emergency Management Agency, says the three were transported to University Hospital in Louisville.

The workers on Wednesday had been planning to move two rail cars containing potentially deadly hydrogen fluoride that were part of a derailment Monday.

A Paducah & Louisville Railway train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed just after 6 a.m. EDT Monday near Dixie Highway. A leak of a potentially explosive material was contained after the derailment, but crews have been working to put the railroad cars back on the track or remove them and the highway remained closed.

"We want to continue to ask our residents in this region to be very patient," said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. "It's unclear as to how long this is going to take to clean up what's turned into a very complex operation here."

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