SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Efforts are still underway to safely clear two tanker cars that derailed in West Springfield Thursday evening. Responding to the accident caused a lot of headaches Friday: from rush hour traffic, to business impact, to the safety of those who live nearby.
It certainly wasn't smooth sailing Friday morning for commuters who usually take route 5 in West Springfield between the North End Bridge and Memorial Bridge rotaries. The stretch was blocked off as crews worked on a plan to safely clear derailed tanker cars carrying flammable liquid.
"It's a little worse today but it's not terrible. A little bit more backup. Plan your trip and make sure you leave some time. Normally I would come up from the south end bridge but I avoided that and just came over the north end bridge. It wasn't much longer but a little bit longer commute," said Paul Burns, who works in Springfield.
And a slightly longer commute meant less stops along the way, especially at some businesses near the detour.
"I guess we're a little bit slower. Friday or later in the week a typical morning we buzz in here. We see a lot of our regular customers which is great," said EJ Barkett who owns White Hut.
Most drivers were able to easily find alternate routes to get to their destinations, but it was difficult for people unfamiliar with the area.
"Just trying to get to the eastern states exposition. This is the way we've always gone. We've been up here before but now we're confused. Usually just a straight show through," said Patricia McCoy, who got lost traveling to the Eastern States Exposition Grounds.
This train derailment didn't just cause headaches for commuters. Chaplin Bridge Railroad and Globe streets were closed off to everyone except emergency vehicles and these buses were brought in to evacuate the people who live there.
West Springfield mayor Greg Neffinger told 22News these evacuations were done as a precaution. There were no signs of the flammable fluid leaking, but they are double-walled tankers so leaking inside was possible and dangerous if something broke while they were being moved.