USC scientist gets $3M to study chlorine spill effects

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A South Carolina researcher is using nearly $3 million in federal funding to study the long-term health effects of a deadly train wreck and chemical spill in Aiken County in 2005.

University of South Carolina researcher Erik Svendsen said Friday he is using the grant from the National Institute of Health to study the long-term effects of people injured in the Graniteville crash.

Nine people died and the area was evacuated of thousands of others when a Norfolk Southern train car carrying chlorine ruptured and released a poisonous cloud over the mill town near the Georgia state line.

In 2008, state researchers found that more than a quarter of the people examined in the spill's aftermath suffered from serious lung problems and even more had mental health troubles.

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