WHITEMARSH, Pennsylvania (FloridaToday.news) — A freight train derailment in southeastern Pennsylvania early Monday prompted a precautionary evacuation, but officials said no injuries were reported and no danger to the public was reported.
A 40-car CSX train running on tracks owned by Norfolk Southern derailed at about 4:50 am in a wooded area in the town of Whitemarsh. CSX claimed that at least 16 vehicles derailed, but local authorities later said 15 vehicles derailed.
Twelve nearby houses were evacuated shortly after the derailment was reported “out of precaution,” Whitemarsh Township Police Chief Christopher Ward said. These residents were allowed to return to their homes around 9:30 am.
Whitemarsh police said the silicone beads leaked from at least one car of the train, but they did not pose a risk to the public. Among the other derailed cars, five contained urea, a liquid fertilizer, and another contained tetrachlorethylene, which is used as a dry cleaning agent and a metal degreasing solvent. At least two more cars were empty.
The cause of the crash is being investigated, but a CSX spokesman said it could be weather related.
Norfolk Southern — and the entire rail industry — has been under scrutiny ever since one of its trains derailed and caught fire in February in Ohio, sending out high black smoke, forcing evacuations and raising environmental concerns.