Derailment Oil Spills Leads to River Closure

The U.S. Coast Guard has ordered closed to boating a portion of the Allegheny River near Pittsburgh after investigators found an oil spill from a Norfolk Southern derailment in the water.

The derailment occurred Thursday afternoon in Harmar Township on the Conemaugh Line.

It was caused by the train hitting a dump truck carrying stone for a sewage plant at a grade crossing.

Seventeen cars derailed with nine of them landing in Deer Creek, a tributary of the Allegheny. The derailment site is 100 yards from the Allegheny.

Also derailed were two of the train’s four locomotives. The train had 109 loaded cars and 116 empties.

A NS spokesman told reporters that investigators on Friday morning found leakage from a tank car. Two leaks discovered earlier that involved petroleum distillate were contained.

Workers were using floating booms in Deer Creek to prevent the spread of the leaking fluid.

The Coast Guard said the river will remain closed until the derailed cars are removed from the water.

Two NS crew members were treated at a hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening. An NS spokesman said the crew members have since been released from the hospital. The truck driver also was injured in the collision.

Workers are making repairs to the railroad’s bridge over Deer Creek, which was damaged during the derailment.

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