DEQ joins probe of train and Post Office incidents

The Department of Environmental Quality has joined the probe of unrelated incidents this morning including a train derailment in Stone County and a suspicious item at the Pass Christian Post Office.

A train hauling cars with hazardous materials derailed around 6 a.m., with four cars coming off tracks between Perkinston and McHenry. First-responders evacuated less than a dozen nearby homes as a precaution.

Earl Etheridge, onsite coordinator for DEQ, said two of the cars contain flouride and sodium hydroxide.

"They're not leaking," Etheridge said.

Cleanup is under way and the cause of the derailment is under investigation.

Etheridge was in Pass Christian at 8:20 a.m., waiting on the Gulfport Fire Department to arrive to check out a mail cart coated with a yellow powder that has a foul smell. The mail carts are hand-held trays used to hold letters.

The Sun Herald updates this stories as details develop.