A CSX train derailed in Allendale County, South Carolina, on Tuesday morning, injuring two crew members and spilling hazardous chemicals.
Details on what chemicals were spilled have not yet been released, but the Savannah Riverkeeper, Tonya Bonitatibus, said that they were believed to be an acid and a base.
The hazardous substances may have spilled into a wetland next to Three Run Creek, a tributary of the Savannah River.
Federal and state officials are investigating the scene. Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency went to the site and were coordinating with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
CBS affiliate WRDW reported that the damage should not affect local drinking water supplies, because the derailment happened in a remote area with a lot of drinking water wells. But the chemical spill could have a serious impact on the creeks and river nearby.
"If it does enter the waterway it will drop the pH pretty quickly and that will kill most of the things in it," Bonitatibus explained.
Workers at the nearby Archroma U.S. Inc. plant, which makes colored paper and textiles, said that the train took a wrong turn and crashed into two stationary rail cars. The lead locomotive turned on its side during the derailment. Both crew members were taken to a local hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
Roads were closed as hazardous-materials teams and other emergency personnel responded to the accident. WRDW said Wednesday morning that Highway 125 in Allendale County had since been reopened but the smaller side roads closer to the crash site were expected to remain closed for several days.