On Sunday, August 4th, 2013 at approximately 3:30 p.m., a Union Pacific train derailed near Lawtell, Louisiana. Only the conductor and the engineer were present, and both of these railroad employees managed to escape without sustaining any injuries. One person was near the scene when the accident occurred, but he refused to be transported to the hospital at that time. After his eyes began to burn later, he found it necessary to take a trip to the hospital after all. Of the 26 cars on this train, one was carrying sodium hydroxide, another was carrying lube oil and a third was hauling vinyl chloride. The company's spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza announced that there was a sodium hydroxide leak, and this is the cause of grave concern because sodium hydroxide can be deadly if people breathe it into their lungs. It can also be very harmful if it comes in contact with their skin. One rail car was leaking lube oil, but officials managed to stop the flow. Another cause for concern is the vinyl chloride because this is a highly flammable substance. However, officials determined that it was not leaking from the car that was carrying the material. The Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal immediately traveled to the area to inspect the damage, and he was very concerned about the fact that chemicals were leaking into the neighborhood. Necessary Evacuations Because of the leak, approximately 100 households in close proximity of the accident were evacuated and remained so the next day. As the affected citizens stayed with friends and family or were sheltered at the Delta Grand Theater, workers cleaned the area so that residents would be able to return home again as quickly as possible. The accident took place so close to U.S. Highway 190 that traffic had to take a detour away from the area. The train accident caused the highway to be blocked, and workers needed at least two days to clear the lanes. As of now, the company is unaware of why this accident occurred. They also need to determine how much damage the train received, and Governor Jindal was confident that this could be resolved in about a day. According to Espinoza, the company renewed the railroad ties two years ago, and officials inspected the track just three hours before the Union Pacific train experienced this unfortunate accident. When Railroad Workers Have Been Hurt on the Job Any type of train accident is reason for concern and if you have experienced railroad work injuries, you may be entitled to compensation under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). You are not under any obligation to accept Workers' Compensation because of this law, and it is much more advantageous to you not to do so. A FELA railroad accident entitles you to sue your employer, and this is something you would not be able to do if you accepted Workers' Compensation. FELA also entitles you to obtain payment for pain and suffering after you have proved that your employer was negligent. In order to receive the monetary benefits that your are due, you must hire a train accident attorney to protect your rights. You will need money to help pay your medical bills, and you also deserve a sum of money for pain and suffering, but you are going to need to demonstrate in court that your employer was partially or in whole part responsible for the injuries you received. A train accident attorney is the person you need in this case because they know what is required to demonstrate to the court that your employers were derelict in their duties to maintain a safe workplace. After they have done this, you will be eligible to receive compensation that would be much greater than what you would receive from Workers' Compensation.