Chesterton Tribune

CSX train derails in Jackson Township on Wednesday; cleanup worker hurt today

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Off the tracks: CSX officials make their way east, down the track, to the wreckage of a derailment on Wednesday of a 42-car train in Jackson Township between Mander Road and C.R. 400E.  (Tribune photos by Kevin Nevers)


A worker was “severely injured” late this morning when a crane at the site of Wednesday’s train derailment in Jackson Township apparently fell on him.

As of deadline no other information was available but Lt. Chris Eckert of the Porter County Sheriff’s Police confirmed that a worker tasked to the cleanup was hurt and first-responders were en route to the scene.

The derailment itself occurred at approximately 4 p.m. between Mander Road and C.R. 400E, Eckert said.

The train—a relatively short one westbound for Chicago—consisted of 42 cars, most of them “well cars” carrying double-stacked semi boxes, 14 of which derailed, Eckert said. No one was injured in the original incident.

A preliminary finding by the Federal Railroad Administration, which responded to the scene, attributed the probable cause of the derailment to track misalignment, Eckert added.

As of deadline today, CSX had not returned a call to the Chesterton Tribune.

The derailment temporarily closed the Old Suman Road grade-crossing on Wednesday until the front portion of the train could be separated and moved down the track, Eckert said, although at 7 p.m. Mander Road remained closed to traffic as heavy equipment was being staged to clear the line.

That stretch of track—posted at a 50 mile-per-hour limit, Eckert said—has been the site of several derailments in the last 10 years.

Also responding to the scene on Wednesday were the Liberty Township and Washington Township volunteer fire departments and a haz-mat team dispatched by the Porter County Environmental Department, Liberty Fire Chief Bill Branham told the Tribune.

Liberty firefighters took the north side of the tracks and Washington the south, Branham said, in a search for haz-mat leakage.

Nothing was found with the exception of a small amount “of what looked like paint” from one of the semi boxes.

The LTVFD cleared the scene at 5:58 p.m.



Posted 6/17/2010