Ohio EPA: Crews to determine if derailed train in Clark County released toxins

Crews worked through Friday afternoon to clean up the scene after a Norfolk Southern train transporting automobiles and other merchandise derailed in Clark County’s Mad River Twp. on Thursday.

The incident happened about a quarter-mile from Old Mill Road, which was closed for several hours near the railroad intersection. The road was to reopen Friday evening.

ExplorePHOTOS: Train derails in Clark County

No injuries were reported, a Norfolk Southern spokesman said. In addition, no release of railcar or vehicle fluids had been observed in the nearby Mad River on Friday, said Dina Pierce, an Ohio EPA media coordinator.

“Ohio EPA staff will determine if there has been a release and work with the railroad to develop a cleanup plan if needed,” she said in an email.

Of the trains more than 100 cars, 26 derailed, said Connor Spielmaker, a Norfolk Southern spokesman.

The train was a mixed freight that was carrying mostly general merchandise, automobiles and automobile-related items, he said.

The derailment did not pose an immediate threat to people, so nearby residents were not evacuated, officials said.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s emergency response staff assisted local emergency responders and the railroad company at the derailment site near.

Several nearby residents reported hearing a series of booms Thursday evening, as well as seeing cars in the nearby river and seeing the train at a full stop. Some living in the immediate area commented that initially they thought a car crash had happened.

“I felt my entire house shake,” said Pamela Diehl, who has lived near the tracks for 10 years.

Diehl said she could hear the sound of cars hitting one another, but not in the way she has heard them jostle as they make their ways down the tracks.

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The Enon-Mad River Twp. Fire Department and EMS asked residents on social media to avoid the area of Lower Valley Pike and Old Mill Road while they worked.

Dozens of workers from Norfolk Southern and RJ Coalman Railroad Services were on scene for several hours following the derailment, working late into Friday to clear the scene and reopen the area to traffic.

It’s not clear what led to the crash, which remains under investigation.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby

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