Train Derailment, Loud Explosion in Baltimore Suburb

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Common Dreams

Train Derailment, Loud Explosion in Baltimore Suburb

by
Andrea Germanos, staff writer

A cargo train derailed in the Baltimore area on Tuesday afternoon after colliding with a tractor trailer, sparking a loud explosion felt miles away, and sending plumes of smoke into the air from a fire set to burn into the night.

According to the Baltimore County Police and Fire Department, 15 cars derailed and one person, the driver of the truck, has been taken to shock trauma but is in stable condition.

Plumes of white and black smoke were seen billowing from the site.

The train was carrying chemicals, which officials are now reporting as flourocyclic acid and teraphaelic acid and say are not toxic inhalants.  The wreckage is still smoldering.

Officials say there is no mandatory evacuation area, though the Baltimore Police Department advised people within 20 blocks of the incident to shelter in place as a precaution.

The Baltimore Sun reports that hazardous material teams are heading to the scene, and that nearby buildings were damaged in the explosion.

The Baltimore County Police and Fire Department tweeted reports of several buildings collapsing at the derailment site.

One person who was working across the street from the derailment scene told the Baltimore Sun that the explosion “felt like a bomb going off." 

Dale Walston, who lives about a half mile from the scene, told the Associated Press that the explosion shook his house "pretty violently," and that there was a strong smell of chemicals.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has launched a "go-team" to investigate the incident.

NECN has aerial video:

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