MCKEESPORT (KDKA) – Nearly a dozen train cars loaded with coal jumped the tracks in McKeesport on Wednesday afternoon. The wreck, on the tracks run right next to the Allegheny Passage biking and walking trail, created quite a mess.
“The train just kept coming. Bang, bang, bang, and next thing you know, it’s coal and cars everywhere,” said a witness who wanted to be identified as Johnny B.
The CSX train, carrying coal, scattered around a dozen cars on the train tracks in McKeesport next to Lysle Boulevard.
Johnny B. was taking a lunch break and saw the whole thing happen.
“The wheels were off of the rails, they were riding on the ties. And the next thing, the train broke apart and all of a sudden these cars started crashing up on each other. That’s when I called 911,” said Johnny B.
CSX officials said the freight train, which has 126 cars and two locomotives, was traveling from Grafton, West Virginia, and was headed to Monaca. It is a mainline that connects from Baltimore to Pittsburgh.
McKeesport’s Deputy Fire Chief Dan Sabol was inside the fire station, which sits right along the train tracks when one of his men witnessed the crash.
“He witnessed, starting back here, one of the trucks, the four wheels together on the train turned sideways and was dragging and dragged like 100 yards or so before the train actually broke and the cars fell over some,” said Deputy Chief Sabol.
The Allegheny Passage Trail runs parallel to the train tracks. Fortunately, the train tipped the other way.
“Luckily, the train fell on the other side or else those bikers would’ve been killed,” said Johnny B.
“The guard for Durabond was sitting, and you can’t see from here, but the guard shed right on other side of two flipped over cars. Literally, the cars missed the guard shed by 20 feet,” Deputy Chief Sabol said.
Duquesne Light was also on scene because the train knocked down some wires. Turns out, they’re private lines and local residents were not without power.
Train traffic has been suspended and it’s unclear when the lines will re-open.