Freight train from Chicago derails, catches fire in Pennsylvania; homes evacuated

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HYNDMAN, Pa. — A freight train partly derailed early Wednesday in a small town in Pennsylvania, setting three train cars and a garage on fire and prompting emergency officials to evacuate nearby homes.

No injuries were reported.

Bedford County 911 coordinator Harry Corley said six cars on the CSX freight train derailed about 5 a.m. in Hyndman, about 100 miles (161 kilometers) southeast of Pittsburgh. Residents within a 1-mile radius (1.61-kilometers) were urged to leave their homes.

Some cars were filled with flammable liquid asphalt, but it wasn’t immediately clear whether the derailed or burning cars were carrying the asphalt or something else. The cause of the crash was not immediately known.

A residential garage struck in the derailment also caught fire, officials said.

CSX spokesman Rob Doolittle said the train was traveling from Chicago to Selkirk, New York. He had no further details.

“CSX apologizes for the impact that this incident is having on the residents of Hyndman, and will continue to support first responders and the community,” Doolittle said.

Hyndman is a town of fewer than 1,000 residents close to the Maryland border. An emergency shelter was set up at the Hope for Hyndman Charter School, and the American Red Cross was called in to help, said Corley and Red Cross spokesman Dan Tobin. The number of residents displaced was not immediately known.

The fire was still burning more than two hours after the derailment. Corley said determining what was on fire and whether the liquid asphalt was fueling it was a priority.

“CSX’s top priority is to work cooperatively with first responders and other officials to protect the public’s safety, and CSX personnel are on the scene assisting first responders, providing information about the contents of the train and expertise on responding to railroad incidents,” Doolittle said.

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