The Journal Gazette
Thursday, July 22, 2021 1:00 am

Train derails near Auburn

74 containers fall; no one injured or materials spilled

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

At least two dozen shipping containers derailed from a CSX freight train Wednesday just east of County Roads 35 and 46A near Auburn, police said. 

No injuries were reported in the derailment reported to 911 about 11:10 a.m. No hazardous materials leaked or spilled, said Chief Deputy Roger Powers of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Powers said his department was still trying to count – aided by drones – the number of shipping containers, also called intermodals. Powers estimated 25 to 30 shipping containers derailed.

Cindy Schild, director of media relations and public affairs with CSX Corporation based in Jacksonville, Florida, issued a statement putting the number of derailed cars at 12 carrying 74 intermodal containers. 

“CSX is working with DeKalb County first responders as we work to assess the situation and develop a recovery plan,” Schild wrote in an email. 

Some cars behind the engine and west of the derailment stayed on the tracks, Powers said. 

He said he expected CSX crews to arrive about 5 p.m. Wednesday to start clearing the cars and hoisting the cars back on the train.

“The engineer thinks it could have been a rock on the rail,” Powers said. “The intermodals bunched and the weight shifted and all the cars behind them accordioned on the tracks.”  

County roads 31 and 35 were blocked, but 35 was reopened about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Powers said. Crews might have to re-block the roads to re-assemble the cars. 

The last derailment occurred about eight or nine years ago. “We've had derailments in St. Joe, Waterloo, Butler,” Powers said. “There's been quite a few in the county.”

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