GREENWOOD -- A leaking valve on a CSX rail car in Greenwood caused a flurry of emergency activity Wednesday, including the evacuation of a nearby children's home, but was under control by early afternoon.
The valve leaked about 8 ounces of anhydrous ammonia, said state Department of Health and Environmental Control spokesman Thom Berry.
Hepaco, an emergency-response company hired by CSX, repaired a faulty valve on the car shortly before 2 p.m., Berry said. The train continued to North Carolina.
The railway runs behind the east side of Connie Maxwell Children's Home near downtown Greenwood.
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About 30 children were moved from three brick cottages and a crisis center to a safer portion of the 900-acre property, children's home president and CEO Ben Davis said.
The evacuations were voluntary, and the children were able to return about 3 p.m. Many of the children who normally would have been on the property at the time were on a field trip.
"It, fortunately, was not a major deal, but we wanted to do what was in the best interest of the children," Davis said.
Residents of Springwood, a small subdivision, also were evacuated.
A motorist traveling on an overpass smelled the chemical and called authorities, Berry said.
The Greenwood Fire Department got the call at 9:38 a.m., said Chief Terry Strange.
A Hepaco worker was overcome with heat exhaustion.
Anhydrous ammonia is a liquid that vaporizes to a colorless, pungent gas that is lighter than air. The nonflammable but toxic compound is used in fertilizers and industrial refrigerants.