“Many of Hays and Ellis County’s finest were called to action early this morning when a train collision and the subsequent explosion and fire rocked the stillness of the night. The Hays police department, the Ellis County sheriff’s department, the fire departments of Hays, Ellis County, Victoria, and Ellis , the Ellis County EMS, and other first responders and staff reported quickly and efficiently to avert a possible disaster. As it turned out, the three train crewmen escaped an overturned train engine engulfed in flames with no injuries and the immediate response of the fire departments were able to contain the fire so that the tanker cars further down the tracks and filled with ethanol did not explode. The diesel fuel that spewed out on the ground was allowed to burn as the emergency personnel worked to contain its liquid path so that Chetolah Creek would not be contaminated.
An amazing job to thwart what could have been a major disaster and tragedy. Our city and her people are protected every day by these unsung heroes who are ready to report when disaster strikes and whenever we need them for our protection and security.
I visited the site twice today, after receiving a phone call from Topeka and a Union Pacific official. I was met with the utmost courtesy and respect by the Hays police chief, the Hays fire chief, and the EMS coordinator. What a blessing that we live in a community that values our public servants and the men and women who work to keep us safe every day. A sincere thank you.”