NS autorack train crash near Buffalo

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An eastbound Norfolk Southern auto rack train burns after derailing in Attica, N.Y., on Feb. 15.
Laura Hann
Attica, N.Y.
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ATTICA, N.Y. — Norfolk Southern is investigating the cause of an autorack train derailment in Western New York Thursday afternoon.

Norfolk Southern confirms that two locomotives and nine of 43 cars of an eastbound auto rack train derailed in Attica, on NS’s Southern Tier main line about 25 miles east of Buffalo. The freight cars were loaded with automobiles destined for Mechanicville, N.Y., north of the state capital in Albany.

Photos published on the WKBW-TV website show NS C44-9W No. 9692 smoking and burning. An NS representative says railroad officials cooperating with local firefighters agreed to let the locomotive burn in a controlled way. NS has "environmental specialists" on scene to help clean up spilled fuel from the train. The railroad representative says two crew members escaped the wreck, but were taken to Buffalo-area hospitals for treatment of unspecified injuries.

Attica resident Laura Hann says she lives about a quarter mile from the NS route and heard the derailment happen.

"There was a loud crunch and boom sound and the train stopped. Looking north northeast I could see cars off the track," Hann says. "The majority of the derailment occurred on the west side of the tracks. I was on the east side. The conductor and engineer were able to get out and were assisted by local farm hands who rushed to the scene."

The Southern Tier line is the former Erie Railroad main line to Binghamton, N.Y., and eventually to Jersey City, N.J. The line is known for the Portage Viaduct bridge which had been in service from 1875 to last December, when NS officially opened a replacement span.

UPDATE: Comments from Norfolk Southern, Laura Hann. Feb. 16, 2018, 9:14 a.m. Central time.
CORRECTION: WKBW-TV in Buffalo published images of a Norfolk Southern locomotive burning. An earlier report incorrectly attributed the images.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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