50 trains derail in Ohio, causing massive fires and evacuations


An evacuation order was issued Friday night in an Ohio village near the Pennsylvania border after a train derailment and the accompanying massive fire engulfed the area as billows of smoke lit orange by flames below. I was.

About 50 vehicles derailed in Eastern Palestine as the train was carrying a variety of cargo from Madison, Illinois to Conway, Pennsylvania, rail operator Norfolk Southern said in a statement Saturday. There was no immediate information about the cause of the derailment. No injuries have been reported.

Local authorities notified residents on Saturday morning that an evacuation order had been issued for those within a mile of the scene. High schools and community centers were opened to evacuate dozens of people, but residents outside those limits were urged to stay indoors.

train derailment ohio
In this photo, courtesy of Melissa Smith, a train fire is seen from her farm in East Palestine, Ohio, on Friday, February 3, 2023. An evacuation order has been issued for a village in Ohio near the Pennsylvania border after a train derailment and the resulting massive fire. On Friday night, billows of smoke, lit orange by the flames below, blanketed the area. (Melissa Smith via AP)

Melissa Smith/AP

Dozens of residents taking refuge at the high school included Anne McCanlis, who said a neighbor texted her about the crash.

“She took a picture of the glow in the sky from her front porch,” McAnlis told WFMJ-TV. “That’s when I realized how important this was.”

Mayor Trent Conaway told reporters that the derailment about 51 miles (82 kilometers) northwest of Pittsburgh and within 20 miles (32 kilometers) of the tip of the Northern Panhandle in West Virginia had forced firefighters in three states. Said he responded.

Conaway said the subzero single-digit temperatures complicated the response, as trucks pumping water froze.

A hazmat crew also responded to the scene and determined whether hazmat was involved, he said.

Norfolk Southern said it has on-site personnel coordinating with first responders.

The fire produced so much smoke that a meteorologist in the area said it could be seen on weather radar.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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