CSX opens two community outreach centers in wake of Pennsylvania derailment

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HYNDMAN, Pa. — CSX Transportation has opened two community outreach centers for local citizens after a 178-car freight train derailed and caught fire near Hyndman early Wednesday morning.

In a late Wednesday evening notice, CSX spokesman Rob Doolittle said railroad hazmat teams were still assessing the damage from a safe distance and were able to confirm several freight cars were still on fire.

As a result, the railroad and first responders issued an evacuation of everyone within a mile of the derailment site. Earlier instructions had ordered an evacuation zone of only a half-mile surrounding the derailment area.

The railroad has opened two outreach centers to assist local citizens with their needs during the evacuation period. One is located at the Hyndman Ministry Center on Hyndman Road and the other is located at the Bedford United Methodist Church in Bedford, Pa.

During the railroad’s Wednesday evening update, it could not estimate how long the evacuation would remain in place or how long the cleanup period may take.

The eastbound 178-car freight train derailed approximately 32 cars on its way to Selkirk, N.Y., from Chicago around 5 a.m. on Wednesday. At least one tank car carrying liquefied petroleum gas and at least one tank car containing molten sulphur have leaked and are on fire.

Fires were still burning for much of Wednesday afternoon and evening, nearly 12 hours after the initial derailment.

The derailment is affecting freight and passenger trains on the railroad’s Keystone Subdivision between McKeesport, Pa., and Cumberland, Md., on the former B&O mainline across Sand Patch Grade. Wednesday’s derailment happened about 18 miles west of Cumberland yard in southern Pennsylvania.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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