According to a report from The Washington Post, a train carrying hazardous materials derailed on Sunday in Whitemarsh Township, Pennsylvania. The incident involved a CSX freight train consisting of 40 cars and occurred on Norfolk Southern tracks.
In response to the 4:50 a.m. derailment in the community, which has a population of fewer than 20,000 residents, the emergency response team of Montgomery County’s Department of Public Safety, along with local first responders, quickly arrived at the scene.
“Whitemarsh Emergency Services is investigating the derailment of a Norfolk Southern train in the Plymouth Meeting section of Whitemarsh Township,” police said in a statement posted to the deparment’s Facebook.
“The derailment is located in the area bounded by Flourtown Road, Joshua Road and Stenton Avenue,” police added. Nearby homes and businesses were evacuated, said police who do not expect further evacuations.
Authorities have cordoned off the streets surrounding the train derailment site, and fortunately, there have been no reported injuries or fatalities related to the incident. Despite the presence of caustic chemicals in some of the cars of the Norfolk Southern train, there has been no leakage of any toxic substances.
“As of now, the only thing that is leaking from any of the rail cars involved, is silicone pellets which pose no risk to the community,” Whitemarsh police assured citizens, noting they continue to investigate the accident.
The investigation into the cause of the derailment is ongoing. This recent freight train derailment in Pennsylvania follows a similar incident that occurred in Ohio earlier this year.
As a result, both the rail industry as a whole and the companies involved, particularly Norfolk Southern and CSX, are facing increased scrutiny. It is imperative that a comprehensive examination of rail safety measures takes place to ensure the well-being of the public.
This incident serves as a stark reminder of the critical need for strong safety protocols within the rail industry and highlights the urgency of addressing this significant national infrastructure issue.