Freight train catches fire in Columbus; anyone know if Sozobe is OK?

Reply Wed 11 Jul, 2012 10:52 am
Freight train derails, catches fire in Columbus, Ohio

(Reuters) - A Norfolk Southern freight train derailed and burst into flames in Columbus, Ohio, early on Wednesday, forcing nearby residents to evacuate, authorities said.

The 98-car southbound train, with two locomotives, was carrying ethanol, and fire officials were letting the biofuel burn itself out, said Columbus Assistant Fire Chief Dave Whiting. He said 10 cars derailed and about three ruptured.

"It's contained, it's not spreading," Whiting said. "It's doing exactly what we want it to do. We haven't had to put anybody in harm's way."

About a hundred people were told to leave their homes within a one-mile radius of the derailment that took place near the state fairgrounds and Ohio State University, fire officials said.

The train, bound for North Carolina from Chicago, derailed at about 2 a.m. EDT, said Norfolk Southern spokesman Dave Pidgeon.

He said between 11 and 13 cars derailed but the exact number was undetermined. He also said two cars carrying ethanol were still burning hours after the derailment.

The cause was unknown and under investigation, Pidgeon said. The National Transportation Safety Board joined the investigation, he said.

Two people were injured and drove themselves to nearby hospitals, local media reported. Their conditions were unknown.

Johnnie Rouse, who lives down the street from the accident, said she was awakened by a loud boom.

"The sky was lit up like the sun had fallen or something," Rouse said.

"My daughter said 'Mama, Mama, get up, get up, get up, a train's exploding ... you've got to get out,'" she said.

Residents were likely to be able to return home later in the day after the fire burned out, which was expected to take a few hours, officials said.

Evacuee Kaila Thomas said there was a strong chemical smell in the air after the fire broke out. "We went to different places, and it smelled different each time," she said.

Other Norfolk Southern trains that were being held due to the derailment were expected to be moving soon through an alternate route, Pidgeon said.
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Reply Wed 11 Jul, 2012 10:55 am
Is she an engineer?

or a hobo...?

(she's still posting)
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Reply Wed 11 Jul, 2012 10:55 am
Oh gosh really?

Thanks for thinking of me, I'm fine though!

It wasn't so far but wasn't so close either.

I actually didn't know anything about it until this morning, when I checked Facebook and it was full of "WTF WAS THAT GIANT BOOM?!" and "OMG THERE'S ANOTHER ONE!" and "WHY IS THE SKY ORANGE?!!!"

But by the time I was checking someone had linked to the news story, so I knew what was up within a few seconds of knowing anything was wrong.

E.G. didn't hear a thing. I didn't, for obvious reasons. Sozlet said she heard it but thought it was thunder.
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