No serious crew injuries in Indiana train wreck

January 7, 2012

VALPARAISO, Ind. – Members of the UTU Transportation Safety Team have joined investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Railroad Administration here following a collision and derailment involving three CSX trains Jan. 6.

Valparaiso is some 60 miles southeast of Chicago.

Two unidentified crew members were transported to a local hospital with what were described as “non-life-threatening injuries. There were no other reported injuries. The accident site is surrounded by open fields. There was a short-term precautionary evacuation of nearby buildings.

A fire that erupted at the crash site was said to have been caused by leaking diesel fuel.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that “two westbound trains collided when the first train stopped and the second struck it from the rear. A train headed in an unknown direction on a parallel track subsequently rolled through the debris from the first crash. The first train had 77 cars and two engines; the second contained 60 cars and two engines; and the third train had 48 cars and three engines.”

Although one of the trains was said to contain empty ethanol tank cars, there was no report of a hazmat leak.