Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

2 Injured after Trains Collide in Sewickley Diesel Fuel Spilled, Homes Evacuated

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

2 Injured after Trains Collide in Sewickley Diesel Fuel Spilled, Homes Evacuated

Article excerpt

Two trains collided Wednesday afternoon in Sewickley, causing a derailment and fire that injured two train workers and caused local homes and businesses to be evacuated, Allegheny County officials said.

Three of the locomotives on an empty, westbound Norfolk Southern train derailed at 1:43 p.m. when the train hit the end of another Norfolk Southern train that was stopped or moving slowly near Chadwick Street, said Alvin Henderson, county emergency medical services chief.

In the rear train, two people were in the lead locomotive, which left the tracks and flipped on its side, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said. The two crawled from the locomotive, and they were taken to Allegheny General Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, he said. An engineer was hospitalized, and a conductor was treated and released, Norfolk Southern spokesman Rudy Husband said.

In the crash, a diesel tank in the lead locomotive ruptured and caught fire. The fire was extinguished, but Mr. Henderson said crews were working Wednesday afternoon to clean up about 6,000 gallons of diesel that had leaked.

Diesel is not thought to have entered the nearby Ohio River nor a local residential area, Mr. Fitzgerald said. No one downstream will be affected, he said.

"It could have been a lot worse," the county executive said.

The intermodal freight train that was struck had two locomotives and 56 intermodal cars, Norfolk Southern spokeswoman Susan Terpay said. One empty car on that train derailed, she said. An intermodal train carries trailers that upon unloading can be hitched to a tractor truck for further transit.

The second train consisted of the three locomotives that derailed - one Norfolk Southern locomotive and two from Union Pacific - and 79 cars, some of which were empty ethanol tank cars. The train had a "buffer car" between the locomotives and the empty tankers, and that protected the tankers, Mr. …

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