SCOTT — No one was injured, but plenty of people had to leave their homes and workplaces on Wednesday when four cars of a BNSF train derailed near a mobile home park in Scott.
At least one of the partially off-the-tracks cars was a tanker that contained phosphoric acid, which concerned authorities but did not rupture, Lafayette Fire Department spokesman Alton Trahan said.
Phosphoric acid is dangerous when it’s inhaled, ingested or gets on someone’s skin or in their eyes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Trahan said firefighters received the call at 10:31 a.m.
The derailment occurred near Pecan Grove and Walker roads and forced authorities to evacuate a quarter-mile radius around the accident site, including a nearby mobile home park. Also evacuated was Little Blessings & Preschool II on West Willow Street.
Though no numbers were available late Wednesday on how many people were evacuated, Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Capt. John Babin said 100 to 110 households were told be cleared. Those included families in G&R Mobile Park, which sits a few hundred feet away from the site of the derailment.
Sections of several roads near the site remained closed as of Wednesday night: Finley Drive, Gary Drive, Clay Road, Pecan Grove Road, Shell Lane, Hobby Drive and Cameron Street at Pecan Grove, Babin said.
Babin said despite the road closures, “the traffic flowed pretty well” in Scott.
Evacuees were transported to the Scott Events Center, where the Red Cross set up assistance.
Red Cross volunteer Bonnie Robert Will said elementary and high school students who live in the evacuation zone and were attending schools when the derailment occurred were brought to the Events Center until the evacuation order was lifted.
Babin said that order was lifted at 8:15 p.m.
Some of the children who were whisked away from Little Blessings & Preschool II on West Willow Street were babies.
“My wife got the call, and she called me,” said Sherard Dugar of Scott, who held little 10-month-old Avery Dugar, a Little Blessings girl.
Dugar had just gotten home from his job driving a truck Wednesday morning when his wife called about the day care evacuation. When Dugar arrived at the Events Center, he and other parents had to wait until someone went back to the day care to retrieve the children’s car seats that were left behind.
Babin said Little Blessings day care should reopen Thursday, as it was outside the evacuation zone. Authorities on Wednesday removed the children and employees from the day care as a precaution.