CSX Train Derailed in Washington D.C., Possible Harmful Leak

Photo from DC Fire and EMS Twitter

A CSX freight train has derailed near 9th Street and Rhode Island Avenue Metro station in Washington D.C. Sunday morning, sending several cars off the tracks and leaking possibly hazardous material from three of its cars, emergency respondents reported.

Doug Buchanan, spokesperson for the D.C. Fire Department, told news channel NBC Washington that over ten cars overturned near the Metro station at about 7:00 A.M. and emergency responders were working to contain a leak. Officials are not yet aware of what substance is leaking.

Reports have also confirmed that an underground gas line was ruptured during the accident. Gas has been turned off, and there is no information on how many people have been affected by this shutdown.

Rhode Island Avenue was closed in both directions from 4th to 10th streets in Northeast, affecting vehicular traffic. The Red Line’s Rhode Island Station is likewise closed. Metro announced that it would put a bus shuttle service in place between the NoMa and Brookland stations in the meantime.

“It looks like our guys have got this pretty well contained,” Buchanan said.

Two, possibly three, of the derailed cars are leaking hazardous material. Exactly what that is and the extent of the leak remains unclear.

News4 has reported that several sources at the scene of the derailment have noted that at least one of the leaked chemicals is sodium hydroxide, which may be combustible and dangerous when its fumes are inhaled.

In a CSX statement, the train was said to be traveling from Cumberland, Maryland to Hamlet, North Carolina, when it derailed. The train had three locomotives and 175 cars in total, including 94 cars with cargo and 81 empty cars.

“CSX operations and hazardous materials personnel are working with first responders on the derailment this morning in Washington D.C.,” CSX said in a statement released about 8:45 a.m., says Washington Top News. “The safety of the community, first responders and CSX’s employees is our highest priority.No injuries have been reported, neither have there been evacuations or calls for shelter.”




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