Scottsburg train derailment stalls traffic, closes roads



Posted on May 17, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Updated Sunday, May 18 at 9:11 AM

SCOTTSBURG, Ind. (WHAS11) – It’s not something you see every day.

The first 5 cargo cars of a CSX train derailed with new automobiles inside as they pass through the heart of Scottsburg attracting droves of onlookers.

Some like Rachel Mahan, who lives along the tracks, say due to some worn down areas of the tracks Saturday morning’s spectacle isn’t particularly surprising.

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“I’m like are you kidding? I always wondered if something like this was going to happen,” she said.

How or why the train derailed is unclear. Engineers say they heard a pop and then a section immediately behind the engine left the tracks.

“The train actually derailed just beyond the two locomotives so not even the engineers were injured of anything. It was honestly the best case scenario of a train derailment with no injuries of hazardous materials,” Scottsburg Fire Chief James Richey said.

Nevertheless, the chief warns neighbors of getting to close.

The through derailment only spanned about two blocks while the entire train spanned nearly a mile and a half along Railroad Street between Owen Street and Lovers Lane.

“It’s long enough to roughly cripple the city,” Chief Richey added.

Delaying traffic on main thoroughfares and completely blocking highway 56 and side streets in between, Louisville-Indiana Railroad set an engine to haul away the majority of the train and free up traffic.

Authorities say the highway has since reopened and anticipate the track being in working order sometime Sunday afternoon.

Click here to see photos of the pile-up.