We're continuing to follow breaking news this morning out of Escambia County, where a train derailment is continuing to cause traffic problems Thursday morning.
The derailment closed U.S. Highway 31 Wednesday night, and it was expected to remain closed until Thursday afternoon.
According to Chief Deputy Mike Lambert of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office, six cars of a CSX train derailed around 6 p.m. in the Wawbeek community between Atmore and Flomaton.
Lambert said at least one of the derailed cars was carrying a plastic pellet product. Some of the pellets spilled at the crash site, but officials have determined it is not hazardous. No evacuations were ordered for people living in the area.
Another railcar was carrying paper. Lambert said that car came to a rest about six feet from Highway 31. That prompted the closure of the highway. Deputies guided drivers around the crash site by rerouting traffic to Sardis Church Road and Cowpen Creek Road.
Thursday morning, crews were using heavy equipment to move derailed rail cars off the tracks.
Lambert told FOX10 News the train was more than 13,000 feet long, which is more than two miles.
He said CSX was working to replace rail track with hopes of opening the railroad line as soon as possible. He said it had been expected Highway 31 would reopen by 4 p.m. Thursday, but work was going so quickly that the highway could reopen earlier.
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