Train Derailment Causes Heavy Damage In McKeesport, Cleanup Continues

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MCKEESPORT (KDKA) — CSX and contractor crews are working around the clock following Wednesday’s train derailment in McKeesport. Railroad officials say a total of 25 cars derailed, 11 of which overturned.

“Honestly, it happened so quick,” said Don Sabol, the deputy fire chief for McKeesport.

Sabol’s station is near the train track.

“The trains are always loud, but there was a rumbling,” he told KDKA’s Lisa Washington.

The accident happened around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. No one was injured when the 126-car train that was carrying coal derailed. The train was traveling from Grafton, West Virginia, to Monaca, Pennsylvania.

The derailment damaged both tracks in the area.

“I was out here until about 2 a.m. last night,” said Brett Pupich, who lives nearby in Homestead.

Pupich came to see the crews clearing the derailed cars.

“They cleared out all the bad hoppers, and there are still standing derailment cars, but actually they did a good job,” he said.

Officials say the two tracks are heavily traveled, between Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Crews were able to re-open one track around 11 p.m. Wednesday to allow some train traffic.

“They’re bringing the trains through very slowly,” observed Sabol, “but I’m sure they’re all in contact with each other, but when a train comes through, everybody stops and waits, for safety sake I’m sure.”

The cause of the derailment is under investigation. A representative from the Federal Railroad Administration is working at the site with CSX.

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