By Ross Guidotti

UNIONTOWN (KDKA) – A major cleanup effort continues in Fayette County after a train derailed this morning, nearly hitting some nearby homes.

According to emergency dispatchers, the incident happened on East Penn Street in Uniontown around 7:40 a.m.

Seven massive hopper cars of the 80-car frack sand hauler derailed. All were carrying up to 135,000 pounds of sand, some of it spilling along the tracks.


“We’re very fortunate with sand. There’s some Hazmats that travel across this rail, too,” Uniontown Fire Chief Dane Griffith said.

Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad operates the short line, which carries mostly Marcellus Shale products.

One of the derailed cars came to rest mere feet from the front porch of a house.

“We heard a train coming through like always and then we heard a big boom. We all jumped and ran and there it was laying in our yard,” Georgia Eans said. “I thought I was dreaming. I knew this day was going to come, but I just didn’t know when.”

“It sounded like lightning hitting the ground,” said Angela Swop, a Uniontown resident.

There are no reported injuries.

It is unclear what led to the derailment at this time, but the train’s conductor is cooperating with investigators.

Each derailed car has to be emptied before they can be righted and removed from the area. Eight vacuum trucks have been brought in to empty each car, along with other heavy equipment.

Another train has been brought in to take away the cars that remained on the track.

Several utility poles were sheared off by the derailment as well.

The investigation into the derailment continues.

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