No danger after hazmat teams check train in Helena

Helena police and firefighters are helping a hazmat team check a train emitting an odor near South Shades Crest Road. (Contributed)

Helena police assisted several fire departments and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office in checking a train emitting a suspicious odor on Feb. 25. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Hazmat teams found no dangerous materials after checking a Norfolk Southern train in Helena on the night of Feb. 25, according to the Helena Police Department.

The railroad company reported an odor coming from one of the train’s cars, prompting response from the Helena, Alabaster, Pelham and Hoover fire departments, the Helena Police Department and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. No evacuations were conducted as a result of the incident.

At about 11:30 p.m., Helena Fire Department Capt. Chaed Agee said Helena police officers and firefighters were assisting hazmat crews as they checked a train stopped between South Shades Crest Road and Shelby County 93.

“They are checking it to determine if there’s a problem,” Agee said, noting the hazmat team had checked “about half” of the train at the time. “We have not had any reason to evacuate anyone at this point. We are asking everyone to stay where they are.”

At about 12:30 a.m. on Feb. 26, the Helena Police Department reported all was clear.

“Hazmat teams have checked the cars and there are no hazardous substances leaking,” read a police department Facebook post.

Agee said the railroad company notified police and firefighters as a precautionary measure after noticing the smell, and said crews were unsure if the train was leaking a chemical or if the train was “carrying something that just emits an odor.”