Home News Train Derailment Causes Massive Fire in US States of Ohio

Train Derailment Causes Massive Fire in US States of Ohio


A train derailed near the border of the US states of Ohio and Pennsylvania on Friday night, causing a massive fire in the area. Local media reports said that emergency crews had been evacuating residents from their homes within a mile (1.6 km) of the fire.

The derailment happened in the town of East Palestine, a small community northwest of Pittsburgh. Images posted on social media showed multiple train cars on fire.

Authorities have told the public that everyone living within a mile of the fire should evacuate their homes and stay indoors until the situation is resolved. A press conference streamed through Facebook stated that “everybody is working together as best they can to try and solve this.”

Several police vehicles were driving through the area, with loudspeakers sounding out evacuation orders, and people in the area were advised to stay home or at shelters.

About a dozen firefighters and officials from the railroad were on scene as well. The train was heading from Bellevue, Ohio, to Conway, Pennsylvania. Norfolk Southern had 237 freight cars and four engines on the train, including the ones that derailed.

The train was hauling autoracks and hoppers that were loaded with rock salt. The railroad did not have an estimate of how long it would take to clean up the wreckage.

A Norfolk Southern spokesperson did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for details about the train and the accident.

At 7:11 p.m., 22 rail cars overturned and derailed near South Prospect Street in Ravenna Township. The crash shut down traffic on nearby roads, and crews were still on-scene Wednesday morning cleaning up the wreckage.

According to the Portage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the train had been carrying rock salt. At the time of the derailment, it was about three miles from the mainline and had a speed limit of 55 mph.

One of the impacted cars caught on fire, and it spread quickly to other trains on the track. Six engine and two hook and ladder companies fought to contain the flames, which burned for hours.

Another car that was laden with fuel oil also caught fire and caused more damage. The car’s interior was badly damaged, and it was believed that the seventh car on the train was filled with fuel oil.

The incident comes on the heels of a string of crude oil train accidents that have prompted calls for new safety rules. A Senate hearing is scheduled for Thursday about how the rail industry should regulate crude oil shipments, which have risen in recent years as pipelines fail to keep up with growing demand.

A spokesman for the Federal Railroad Administration says that it isn’t clear what caused the train to derail. He added that the derailment may have been due to a track defect or other issue.

Despite the derailment, there was no report of injuries or casualties. The crash is being investigated by the NTSB.

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