Freight Train Hits Vehicle Stuck on Tracks, Derails. In Newburgh, New York, a CSX freight train collided with a work vehicle stuck on the tracks and derailed. The train was transporting hazardous chemicals, including sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide and corn oil. The locomotive was also carrying cardboard and glass. The derailment occurred on Mar. 7, 2017.
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Commissioner of emergency services for Orange County Brendan Casey said the accident occurred when the train struck an equipment loader with a boom that got caught on the tracks. Upon impact, the train derailed. The accident occurred on River Road, near the line between Newburgh and New Windsor, according to NBC New York.
“Right now the scene is secure, we have the roadway closed,” said Casey, according to NBC. “CSX, Federal Railroad Agency, various state agencies are on the scene, and at this point it’s really just a cleanup operation to get the train off the roadway and get the rail cars back aligned and move ’em out of the area.”
State police say two crew members suffered minor injuries as a result of the accident. Although the train was carrying harmful substances, it appears that the materials remained contained within the freight train. According to CSX, the locomotive was only leaking fuel.
A Steelways Inc. employee told the Times-Herald Record that he noticed the train approaching quickly while a co-worker of his was driving a forklift across the tracks. “I screamed for him to get out of the basket,” the employee said. “There was no way he was going to get off (the tracks) at that point.”
Luckily, the employee said his colleague got out of the forklift in time before train collided with the vehicle and derailed.
CSX says the train departed from Selkirk, New York and headed towards Waycross, Georgia. There were three locomotives and 77 freight cars on the train.
“I looked in my rearview mirror and saw fire and a train barreling towards my car, and I had a moment of panic thinking, ‘Oh, my God, it’s gonna hit me,'” one woman said, according to NBC. “It jumped the tracks and came onto the road and it looked like it was heading straight for the cars.”
“If it had gone a few feet further, it would have hit a building,” she added. “If it had gone the other way, it would have hit the oil tanks — which I can’t even imagine what that would have done.”
The accident occurred several blocks away from the office of Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. “While we don’t yet know why the train derailed, we do know that outdated train cars barreling down the Hudson River carrying hazardous materials are literally a train wreck waiting to happen,” Maloney said, according to NBC New York. “We have to get smarter about how we transport crude oil, and invest in installing positive train control on all our trains,”
CSX Train Crash in Mississippi Kills 4 People
On the same day, another CSX train crash occurred in Biloxi, Mississippi, killing four people and injuring another 40. NBC reports that a train struck a charter bus carrying 48 passengers and a driver. The bus had come from Austin, Texas and was headed towards a casino in Biloxi.
Seven passengers are in critical condition following the accident, said Michelle Crowley of the Biloxi fire department.
According to Biloxi Police Chief John Miller, the bus appeared to be stopped on the tracks when the train collided with it, pushing the bus down the track 300 feet. “We’re not sure why,” said Miller, according to NBC. “We don’t know if there were mechanical issues or what was taking place.”
The passengers were part of a casino trip organized by a Texas senior center.
“It’s a terrible tragedy,” said Miller. “I know there’s a lot of families that are going to be impacted here.”
The Sun Herald of Biloxi reports that, according to witnesses, the bus was stuck on the track for roughly five minutes before the collision. When the train struck, at least one person was shoved under the bus.
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