Strong stench remains after Hays train accident
A train derailment caused 1,500 tons of smelly, decaying chicken meal to be spilled in Hays last month, and Union Pacific contractors have been trying to get rid of it ever since.

Chicken meal is an ingredient used in cat food. Since the spill, residents of Hays have been complaining of an offensive stench.

"What's overwhelming to one person may not be overwhelming to another," said Dan Wells, an administrator with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. "But I think everybody can agree this is a strong odor."

Nobody was hurt during the July 16 accident in which a moving train hit a stationary train, causing 18 cars to go off the tracks. A car containing the chicken meal split in half.

The chicken meal was later bulldozed into a large pile and covered with tarps. Some of it has been hauled to the Barton County landfill. But because of the recent heavy rains and mud, the landfill has recently been unable to accept solid waste, Wells said.

Wells said Union Pacific may order 19 or 20 Gondala train cars from Utah to haul off the rest of it. If that's the case, though, they wouldn't arrive until Tuesday.

In the meantime, Wells said a deoderant may be applied to the chicken meal.