Cleanup continues at scene of three train
crash and derailment in Jackson Township
Track sections in farm field as crews remove debris
from rail bed
Locomotives showing fire damage await removal at
accident site Saturday
Photos by Margaret L. Willis)
Click here for
Chicago Tribune breaking news coverage:
VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Three freight trains derailed in
northwest Indiana on Friday, leaving several mangled train cars on their
sides along the tracks and forcing nearby residents to temporarily leave
home as smoke billowed from the wreckage.
Two of six crew members were taken to the hospital after
the accident that happened about 1:15 p.m. in an area of rural farmland
northeast of Valparaiso, Porter County Sheriff's Sgt. Larry LaFlower said.
He said their injuries were not considered life-threatening.
A CSX train that had been pulling mostly empty tankers of
ethanol stopped on the tracks and was rear-ended by a second train,
LaFlower said. A third train on parallel tracks then came up and struck
the derailed cars.
CSX said in a statement that there appeared to be no
significant leaks or spills of hazardous materials, but that all loaded
and empty hazardous materials cars were inspected.
Officials evacuated 50 to 150 homes within about a mile of
the tracks as a precaution, LaFlower said, in part because officials were
uncertain about the source of the billowing black smoke that lingered for
hours after the accident.
Residents were allowed to return to their homes by early
Friday night, said Porter County Emergency Management Director Phil
Hazardous materials teams and investigators from the
National Transportation Safety Board were on the scene along with dozens
of firefighters and emergency personnel.
"There's a lot of mangled trains that are broke open," said
Jim Sherrick, a first responder who lives nearby. "They're stacked on top
of each other literally like somebody just took them and stacked them up
like a child would have gotten upset with his model railroad and piled