3 Trains Crash in Pennsylvania

Officials say no injuries were reported
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 2, 2024 3:00 PM CST
3 Trains Crash in Pennsylvania
This photo provided by Nancy Run Fire Company shows a train derailment along a riverbank in eastern Pennsylvania on Saturday.   (Nancy Run Fire Company via AP)

Authorities say three trains were involved in a collision and derailment in eastern Pennsylvania on Saturday morning that caused no reported injuries or evacuations but left railroad cars scattered along a riverbank and at least one partially in the river. Officials in Northampton County said the derailment was reported at about 7:15am in Lower Saucon Township along the Lehigh River, the AP reports. The township's police chief, Thomas Barndt, said arriving emergency personnel found "multiple trains derailed." No hazardous materials were involved, and no evacuations were ordered, he said.

The National Transportation Safety Board said preliminary information indicates an eastbound Norfolk Southern train struck another Norfolk Southern train that had stopped on the same track. Wreckage from the striking train spilled onto an adjacent track and was struck by a westbound Norfolk Southern train, the NTSB said in an email to the AP. Authorities said the collision led to the derailment of an unknown number of cars. A team "of experts in train operations, signals and train control, mechanical systems, and human performance" was expected to arrive later in the day, the NTSB email said.

Local officials said ropes were used by personnel to reach the roadway from the riverbank. Barndt said containment booms were deployed after diesel fuel spilled into the river. Norfolk Southern called it a small leak, "common when locomotives are involved," that was contained with the booms and would be "vacuumed out." Norfolk Southern also said plastic pellets spilled from one car, predominantly onto the ground, that would also be cleaned up. Gary Weiland, who lives across the river in Bethlehem Township, told the Allentown Morning Call that he heard what sounded like a crash, then a period of quiet followed by the sound of another crash. (All the issues in the derailment a year ago in East Palestine, Ohio, are still not resolved.)

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