July 15, 2014
WYTHEVILLE, Virginia (AP) — Crews are working to get a Louisville-to-Norfolk freight train back on track after 14 rail cars derailed in southwest Virginia.
Local officials in Wythe County said there were no injuries or property damage and the state Department of Environmental Quality reported no evidence of any spills from the Norfolk Southern derailment Monday night.
The cause of the derailment was being investigated.
The three-engine, 33-car train was en route from Louisville to the Port of Virginia with cargo primarily destined for export.
Norfolk Southern spokesman Robin Chapman said 12 of the derailed cars were auto carriers while two were double-stack container cars. He could not immediately say what the container cars were hauling.
Officials at the scene concluded the cargo was fingernail polish, which is classified as a low-level hazard, Wythe County spokesman Jeremy T.K. Farley said.
DEQ staff was on the scene and found "no evidence of any spills, or any impacts to people's health or environment," spokesman William Haden wrote in an email.
Chapman said Norfolk South crews and contractors were attempting to repair the rail to get the train back on track to Norfolk before salvaging the derailed cars. The line sees about 12 trains a day.
"Right now we are holding traffic until it's repaired," he said.
Farley said the derailment runs parallel with a street that includes businesses and houses in Wythe. He said there was no apparent damage to any structures, but he said it was causing some disruptions in the town of about 30,000.
"Our main concern is making sure the public and environment is in no danger and we think that is the case," Farley said.
The National Transportation Safety Board did not immediately return a message from The Associated Press.