Locomotives Derail, Burn Near Pittsburgh

By Dow Jones Business News, 
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EDGEWORTH, Pa. (AP)--Locomotives on a Norfolk Southern freight train have derailed near Pittsburgh, catching fire and prompting the precautionary evacuation of nearby residents.

Two crew members were injured and taken to hospitals, though their names and conditions weren't immediately released, Allegheny County spokeswoman Amie Downs said

County Emergency Services Chief Alvin Henderson said three engines derailed and that the fuel tanks of two caught fire when they crashed at about 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

The accident occurred in Edgeworth, a community about 15 miles west of Pittsburgh along the north shore of the Ohio River. The railroad tracks parallel Route 65, a busy thoroughfare that connects Pittsburgh with its western suburbs.

Edgeworth Police Chief John English said he arrived to see the engines burning moments after the accident. Mr. English said it appears one train was following another and hit the rear of the lead train when it slowed down.

The two injured crew members were taken to a Pittsburgh hospital with what English called "non-life-threatening injuries."

Television news helicopters showed emergency crews dousing the smoky locomotives with fire-extinguishing foam. The video appeared to show the other freight cars remained upright.

Mr. Henderson said some empty cars in one train had contained ethanol, but were empty. The evacuation was prompted by that, because the residue can be dangerous in a fire.

Norfolk Southern spokeswoman Susan Terpay was gathering information but had no details to immediately release about an hour after the incident.

A nearby outpatient facility owned by the Heritage Valley Health System and some homes were being evacuated as a precaution. Mr. Henderson expected those people would be able to return home by late afternoon.

Corrections & Amplifications

The locomotive accident happened in Edgeworth, Pa.The Associated Press earlier reported that it occurred in Sewidgley, Pa.

Copyright 2014 the Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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