Reports indicate that a train carrying sheet rock and propane went off the rails in the 7200 block of 16 Street East in an industrial area located to the north of Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.
Two of the train's railcars were carrying propane, and one of them carrying 30,000 gallons of the fuel overturned. The other fell off the tracks but remained in an upright position.
Emergency crews from Southern Manatee Fire Rescue joined hazmat crews in responding to initial calls about the partial derailment. Members of the Manatee County Emergency Medical Services, Sheriff's Office personnel, and Manatee County Public Safety personnel were all present as well to secure the area and monitor the situation.
It could take some time for this derailed train to be fully removed from the tracks as the propane must first be siphoned from the overturned tanker before it can be moved. Around 150 feet of track has been left mangled from the incident.
(Related: Check out our earlier coverage about the East Palestine train derailment.)
We are told that nobody was injured by the crash, and no leakage occurred. Unlike the situation in East Palestine, Ohio, there were also no evacuation or shelter-in-place notices issued.
"We are proud of our first responders," said Manatee County Board of County Commissioners Chair Kevin Van Ostenbridge. "Their quick action has helped maintain the safety and security of our citizens."
Air quality in and around the site of the disaster will be monitored as cleanup efforts continue.
Florida-based Seminole Gulf Railway, which owns the train in question, was "minimally staffed" at the time when the derailment occurred. Representatives from the company did arrive at the scene of the incident, as did numerous other railroad officials and staff members from the Florida Department of Transportation.
South Manatee County Fire Rescue Chief Robert Bounds told local media that the train was traveling south when one of its cars derailed, causing a domino effect for the others. The exact cause of the crash remains unknown.
"We have drones. We run the hazmat team for the county of Manatee and we were in the air with our drone which has thermal capabilities," Bounds told another local media outlet, explaining that thermal imaging has thus far shown no leaks from the site of the crash.
"We were able to look at the tank and ascertain the levels of the tank from the outside, it'll show up different colors if anything is actually leaking. There are no leaks. There is no actual physical damage to the tank other than the rollover, but there is no significant damage to it."
It may be that the area has to get evacuated when the propane is offloaded from the cars because of potential danger to the public. There is also a homeless camp nearby that may also have to be removed for its inhabitants' safety.
Sen. Rick Scott tweeted that his team is "actively monitoring" the situation and "reaching out to state and local officials to see how we can assist."
"Our priority is doing everything we can to help keep the community and ALL Floridians safe," he added.
In the comments, someone suggested that all these train derailment incidents are intentional.
"This administration is intent on destroying our rail system," this person wrote.
Another wrote that all of this is "becoming about as coincidental as the meat processing plant fires and the attacks on the power grids."
"Funny how this only happens in red states," this person added.
More related news coverage can be found at Disaster.news.
Sources for this article include: