Cleanup starts for derailed cars in Cramerton



CRAMERTON, N.C. - Cleanup finally got underway Wednesday after derailment of more than a dozen train cars in Cramerton.

Crews started burning through the metal.

"I think it is ridiculous that it's not already cleaned up," said neighbor Niki Lutz.

Lutz said she and her family were forced out of their home when dozens of Norfolk Southern train cars derailed in August. The mangled cars have just set beside the tracks since. Lutz said she's even seen children playing on the cars.

"People can get hurt down there," she said.

"I think it is atrocious that they would take so long to start the cleanup," said neighbor Art Shoemaker.

A spokesman with Norfolk Southern told Channel 9 that crews were delayed for weeks because of other derailments.

He said it also took more time to get the equipment needed to torch the cars. They also realized Wednesday they can't torch all the cars, so they need to locate nine flatbed cars to haul away the tankers. So far, they have found two.

Once they get all of them, it will take two days to finish the cleanup.

Eyewitness News asked the spokesman if derailments can be prevented from happening in Cramerton again, with homes so close.

"We will know that when we know what the cause is," he said.

Channel 9 also spoke with the Cramerton Mayor Ronnie Worley.

He said the crash cost the town nearly $8,000 to pay for the police, fire and city workers who responded that day. He sent that bill to Norfolk Southern and expects the town to be reimbursed.

The mayor said despite the delays, Norfolk Southern has tried to be a good corporate neighbor, even giving $100 per person in each home that had to be evacuated.