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CSX freight train derails after hitting rockslide in West Virginia, 3 injured, diesel spills into river

Scene of the CSX freight train derailment Wednesday in Sandstone, West Virginia.
Posted at 2:00 PM, Mar 08, 2023

A CSX freight train derailed Wednesday after striking a rockslide in Sandstone, West Virginia, injuring three crew members and spilling diesel fuel into a nearby river, according to a company press release.

The three crew members were in the locomotive, which caught fire after the derailment, and are being treated for non-life threatening injuries, CSX said. The coal train was empty, the company said.

An unknown amount of diesel fuel and oil spilled into the New River, and containment measures will be deployed, CSX said. The company also noted that the coal train was empty and was not transporting hazardous materials.

"The incident posed no danger to the public," the CSX release said.

A separate statement from West Virginia Emergency Management said at least one locomotive and one fuel tank went into the New River, adding diesel fuel from the wreckage "has been observed entering the New River."

"At the time of this report, no roads are closed, nor has there been an evacuation of nearby homes," West Virginia Emergency Management said in a release.

CSX spokesperson Sheriee Bowman told CNN that 22 empty rail cars derailed. Bowman was unsure whether the fire had been extinguished.

The company said its team is in close contact with police and fire officials.

West Virginia officials said in a release a rockslide caused the derailment.

"CSX owns twelve feet from the middle of the track to either side and will be responsible for cleanup. The company is sending a spill response unit that will coordinate with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) on mitigation and remediation efforts."

"Agencies under the Justice Administration, including the West Virginia Emergency Management Division (WVEMD), the WVDEP, and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) are actively monitoring this developing situation," the release said.

Summers County Emergency Management, Sandstone Volunteer Fire Department and fire departments from Summers County, Pipestem, and the City of Hinton are on scene.