Trains derail in Gary, no hazards found

Staff reporter

Two eastbound train engines collided with each other in Gary early Sunday morning, scattering dozens of train cars off the tracks in the Miller neighborhood.

Gary Fire Department Battalion Chief Donald Williamson said two engines traveling east collided with each other, apparently because of faulty switch gear, near Old Hobart Road and Miller Avenue.

One of the crew members suffered a broken leg. He and another person had to be extricated, Williamson said.

The engineer and conductor aboard the CSX train were the personnel injured in the crash and were being treated at a local hospital, said CSX spokesman Gary Sease. The CSX train collided with a Chicago, South Shore & South Bend Railroad freight train, a spokesman for the South Shore freight line said.

The train wasn't pulling tankers or hazardous materials but the department initiated a hazmat response as a precaution, Williamson said. The third of three locomotives on the train had its fuel tank rupture, but cars with granular pesticides and rubbing alcohol suffered no leakage, Sease said.

CSX environmental experts and other personnel were on-scene to help with the cleanup, Sease said.

The train, which was headed from Chicago to North Bergen, N.J., was made up of the three locomotives and 15 intermodal cars, which carry containters and are longer than standard rail cars, Sease said.

Nothing is leaking, Williamson said, and the train was pulling mixed cargo. Although area residents were being advised to stay indoors to avoid the heavy equipment needed to clear the accident, there was no indication of any hazardous material, Gary Fire Chief Theresa Everett said in a media availability on-site. Clearing the accident could take many hours, because of the number of derailed cars, Everett said.

The trains were still in the process of being cleared about 5:30 p.m., the South Shore spokesman, Pete Wentz, said.

"There's multiple cars all over the tracks, tracks have been displaced," Williamson said.

Twitter: @peternickeas

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