Cleanup continues after train derailment and molten sulfur spill in Florida

(WFLA Photo)

KATHLEEN, Fla. (WFLA) — Crews in Polk County are still working to clean up a train derailment and molten sulfur spill.

Kathleen Road was still closed Tuesday morning near Galloway Road as crews continued to clean up the train that derailed early Monday.

Crews in the area came across the scene of the derailment around 2 a.m. while returning from a medical call nearby.

Nine cars of the train derailed. Two of them released fluid onto the tracks, soil and asphalt.

An estimated 12,000 gallons of fatty acid grease leaked into a ditch. About 3,250 gallons of molten sulfur also leaked.

Deputies issued a precautionary “shelter in place” order right after the crash, asking people nearby to stay inside, close their windows and turn off their air conditioning. The order was later lifted.

No surface waters were impacted and sulfur dioxide readings returned to normal. Soil evacuation at the site of the spill is expected to remediate the impacts and authorities do not expect any long-term impact to the environment.

No one was injured in the derailment. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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