A CSX freight train derailed Wednesday morning after striking a rockslide in a remote area of West Virginia, injuring three crew members and spilling diesel fuel into a nearby river, according to a company press release.
The three crew members were in the locomotive, which caught fire after the derailment, and are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, CSX said. Two were airlifted and the third was taken to the hospital in an ambulance, a Summers County Office of Emergency Management dispatcher told CNN.
Diesel fuel and oil spilled into the New River, and containment measures will be deployed, CSX said. The company also noted that the coal train was empty and was not transporting hazardous materials. CSX spokesperson Sheriee Bowman told CNN that 22 empty rail cars derailed.
"The incident posed no danger to the public," the CSX release said.
The derailment comes about a month after a Norfolk Southern freight train carrying hazardous materials derailed and caught fire near East Palestine, Ohio, releasing potentially dangerous chemicals into the air and water. The incident has spurred bipartisan political efforts to prevent future incidents.
The Federal Rail Administration says it's actively monitoring Wednesday's derailment and said that the fire has been extinguished. The administration said it occurred on an Amtrak route, so residual delays may be expected.
At least one locomotive and one fuel tank went into the New River, the West Virginia Emergency Management Division said. The division said the derailment occurred in a remote area south of Sandstone inside the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, which in 2021 became America's 63rd national park.
Sam Richmond posted photos on Facebook of the crash that he took from a cliff above the scene. The photos show the train in flames and a toppled train car resting in the New River.
CSX owns 12 feet from the middle of the train track to either side and is responsible for cleanup, the division said, adding praise for the early efforts of the company and first responders.
"I'd like to commend the response agencies and CSX for their quick and efficient response," said Summers County Emergency Manager Steve Lipscomb. "All the agencies worked as a team to provide prompt medical aid and transportation to the injured."
No roads are closed and there have been no evacuations of nearby homes, the division said.
Chief Deputy Tim Adkins of the Summers County Sheriff's Department said they received a call around 5 a.m. Wednesday about the derailment at a "pretty remote stretch of railway." There was "extensive damage" to the train but no damage to outside property and no roads were blocked, he said.
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