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
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.