Digest: CSX derailment near Atlanta injures two, leads to evacuation

News Wire Digest for Oct. 12: 18 killed in train-bus collision in Thailand; Purple Line contractors officially quit
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Two crewmen were injured in this derailment of a 170-car CSX train near Atlanta on Sunday.
Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services, via Twitter
The CSX derailment is being blamed on a washout that occurred as the remnants of Hurricane Delta passed through the Atlanta area.
Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services, via Twitter

Monday morning rail news:

CSX train derailed by washout; chemical fire spurs evacuation

Residents in a portion of Lilburn, Ga., were evacuated early Sunday morning after 38 cars of a CSX train derailed in the community 10 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta, leading to a chemical fire. Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services reports a crew member called 911 at 1:43 a.m. to report the derailment, and residents within a half-mile radius of the accident site were evacuated, but were allowed to return home about 5:30 a.m. after crews brought the fire and hazardous material situation under control. Two crew members suffered minor injuries when escaping from their overturned locomotive and were transported to a local hospital. The derailment came as Atlanta was suffering severe weather from the passage of the remnants of Hurricane Delta. WSB-TV quotes a CSX statement as saying the preliminary indication was that the derailment was caused by “a track washout from intense rain and flash flooding.” City officials in Lilburn said a trail and park near the accident site would be closed for at least three days to allow for cleanup. WAGA-TV posted this drone footage of the derailment scene provided by fire officials.

18 killed, 44 injured as train hits bus in Thailand
Eighteen people were killed and 44 injured Sunday when a train collided with a bus in Thailand’s Chachoengsao Province, about 30 miles east of Bangkok. The Bangkok Post reports the bus passengers were on the way to a temple to mark the end of Buddhist Lent. The injured were taken to three area hospitals; by Sunday afternoon, all but 13 were had been released. Video footage reportedly shows the bus edging into the railroad tracks at an unprotected grade  crossing before being hit by a freight train.  

Maryland takes over management of Purple Line construction
The consortium building Maryland’s light rail Purple Line has officially quit, leaving the Maryland Transit Administration in charge of hundreds of subcontracts that are part of the construction project. The Washington Post reports Purple Line Transit Partners finished securing construction sites and began turning the project over to the state on Friday, and that the state officially took over management of the project on Sept. 28. Contracts now in the hands of the state include those for construction of the light rail vehicles, operation and maintenance of the system, and 233 other agreements, including design and construction. The state has said it will take four to six months to decide if it continues to manage the project, seeks a new contractor, or develops another public-private partnership. The Transit Partners consortium quit over about $800 million in unpaid cost overruns [see “Digest: Judge rules builders can quite Maryland Purple Line project,” Sept. 11, 2020].



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