Freight train derails in Ohio, prompts evacuation

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 28, 2011 3:33 PM
Freight train derails in Ohio, prompts evacuation

PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - A freight train derailed near Youngstown, Ohio, on Monday and authorities, suspecting a possible ammonia gas leak, evacuated nearby residents, police said.

Gary Sease, a spokesman for CSX Transportation, said 14 of the train's 111 cars had derailed in Newton Falls, Ohio, at 7 a.m. No one was injured.

Police initially reported that 96 cars had derailed and suspicion of an ammonia gas leak prompted authorities to evacuate residents from houses located within 500 feet of the accident.

Sease said none of the derailed cars contained chemicals or had leaked any kind of substance. Two empty cars, which did not derail, had previously contained an ammonia solution, he said.

The train was heading to Cumberland, Maryland, from Willard, Ohio, when the accident occurred.

CSX was investigating the incident along with local authorities, Sease said. The cause of the accident has not been determined.

By mid-afternoon, investigators found that no chemicals had spilled, but about 45 homes remained evacuated, said Jim Zimomra, spokesman for the Newton Falls Police Department.

Newton Falls is about 20 miles west of Youngstown, Ohio, and 70 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

(Reporting by Daniel Lovering; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jerry Norton)