Fires Burn Out at CSX Pennsylvania Derailment Site

Although the fires in Hyndman, Pennsylvania, that were triggered by a derailment burned out on Friday, CSX officials were awaiting the results of an air quality test before giving residents displaced by the write the OK to return home.

CSX spokesman Rob Doolittle said the initial air tests came back without “components of concern,” but results of another, more thorough test would have to come back overnight Friday to help CSX determine when to allow residents to return to their homes.

The railroad said on Friday that it has made significant progress in the cleanup following the early Wednesday derailment that prompted the evacuation of the town of more than 800 in southern Pennsylvania.

Doolittle said during a Friday news briefing that access to the burning rail cars of propane and sulfur has been limited by the other derailed cars, and moving those cars to allow access is the next priority in the carrier’s cleanup effort.

Thirty-two cars of the eastbound manifest freight left the tracks and 17 of them have been placed back on the rails, moved from the site or placed in a safe location for later removal.

Six investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were at the scene.

Doolittle said the train, which was traveling from Chicago to Selkirk, New York, derailed on a section of the Keystone Subdivision where the top speed is 30 mph. Twenty to 30 trains a day pass through Hyndman.

The derailed train, which carried symbol Q388, had five locomotives and 178 cars. Fifty cars were empty and others carried construction materials, paper and wood pulp.

CSX has established community outreach centers, a toll-free telephone response line and a webpage, for information, status updates and assistance.

Doolittle said six or seven vehicles of displaced Hyndman residents were victims of tire slashing Wednesday night or early Thursday.

He said those victims can be reimbursed for the damage they suffered by obtaining a police report and providing it to CSX.

Some CSX trains were being rerouted via Newell, Pennsylvania, and south and east to Grafton, West Virginia, on the railroad’s Mountain Subdivision. That routing enabled them to connect to Cumberland, Maryland, via the former Baltimore & Ohio’s Mountain Subdivision through eastern West Virginia and Maryland.

Amtrak’s Capitol Limited continued to operate only between Chicago and Pittsburgh with passengers riding a bus east of Pittsburgh.

Nos. 29 and 30 are not expected to resume running to Washington until late this weekend at the earliest.


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