CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) –– Officials say multiple people were taken to the hospital after two CSX trains collided head-on in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Chopper 3 was over the scene of the head-on collision at Concord Road at Bethel Road.
Officials say one train was carrying consumer goods and industrial products and the other was empty.
Several CSX workers suffered minor injuries. Two were taken to Crozer-Chester Hospital for treatment.
Officials say there was a diesel fuel spill that was quickly contained. The EPA has been notified and hazmat crews are cleaning up the spill.
CSX released a statement on the collision:
‘At approximately 8:25am, a CSX freight train traveling from Richmond, Virginia, to Pavonia, New Jersey, with three locomotives and 64 empty freight cars collided with a CSX train traveling from Quebec, Canada to Atlanta, Georgia, with one locomotive and eight intermodal cars carrying consumer goods and food products. Each train was traveling with two crew members aboard. The collision took place at a track interlocking between Kerlin Street and Concord Road in Chester, PA. Two employees were transported to a local hospital for medical attention; out of respect for the privacy of our employees and their families, we will not release additional personal or medical details.
Our priority is always the safety of our employees and the communities we serve. CSX is cooperating fully with local law enforcement to understand the circumstances of this accident, and the cause remains under investigation. CSX will review any outcomes from this investigation to identify opportunities for future operational improvement.’
The fire chief tells Eyewitness News that the injured workers were walking around and talking when crews arrived.
A neighbor, Kyle Harper, describes what he heard when the trains collided: “It sounded like someone kicked my front door in. We ran out and called a couple of people.”
One of the trains was traveling from Richmond, Virginia to New Jersey and was pulling 64 empty freight cars. The other was going from Canada to Atlanta, Georgia and was carrying goods.
Michael Townsend, who saw the collision while driving by was almost speechless. “It’s just wow,” he said.
On Twitter, Congressman Bob Brady called for an immediate Department of Transportation investigation into the collision and whether positive train control, which could automatically slow down or stop a train, had been activated.
CSX officials tell Eyewitness News they will have invested more than $2 billion in PTC by 2020, when they expect to have fully implemented the system.
The cause of the collision is under investigation. Investigators are still trying to figure out exactly how this crash happened and how fast the trains were moving at the time of the collision. The speed limit on the tracks is 50 miles an hour.
Around 5:15 on Friday afternoon, CSX released another statement, providing an update on their progress in cleaning up after the collision:
As of 4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, CSX had completed re-railing a locomotive that had partially derailed in a train collision in Chester, Pa., earlier today. CSX expects that the site will be returned to full operational condition and freight service will resume through the area later today.
The two employees who had been transported from the scene for medical attention were examined and released from the hospital, having suffered no serious injuries. The two other employees involved did not require medical attention.
CSX appreciates the swift response of the Chester Township Fire Department and other area first responders today, and for their continued support as we have worked to restore the scene of the incident. We apologize to area residents for any inconvenience that this incident may have caused. The safety of our employees and the communities where we operate is CSX’s highest priority, and our goal is to deliver every shipment of freight entrusted to us safely to its intended destination.