Follow us on Twitter

SHEFFIELD VILLAGE, OH – A Norfolk Southern train crash derailed twenty-six cars  Tuesday morning, November 16, at approximately 7:05 a.m. near the railroad yard between Harris and Abbe roads. The Sheffield Village Fire Department is monitoring cleanup efforts at the scene. Norfolk Southern officials indicated crews would be working for 12 to 18 hours to clean up the scene of the crash.

An inspector surveys the remains of 26 Norfolk Southern rail cars that derailed Tuesday morning, November 16, blocking tracks in Sheffield. PHOTO CREDIT: Gus Chan, The Plain Dealer.

The derailment was confirmed by SVFD Chief Jeffrey Young in a news released faxed to Fox 8 News. Sheffield firefighters responded to the scene shortly after 7 a.m. The area where the wreck occurred is used for storage of new vehicles by the sprawling Ford Motor Co. plant located just east of the derailment site off Abbe Road.

“It was impossible to count the number of cars involved due to the damage,” Young said. “They were very badly damaged. We were pretty con­fident that it involved 28 cars, but we had to rely on the train’s manifest for the number. It was the worst train derailment I’ve ever seen in Sheffield Village.”

An engineer and conductor in the locomotive were the only ones aboard at the time of the derailment, according to Rudy Husband, a Norfolk Southern public relations director.

“Thankfully there was no hazardous material aboard, and no one was hurt,” Young said. “It was very violent. We’re just very grateful no one was around there at the time.” Most of the train’s cars were either empty or hauling sand, according to Husband, who said the freight was eastbound on a Norfolk and Southern main line running between Bellevue and Buffalo, N.Y.

The exact cause of the derailment isn’t yet known, Young said, but it led to a minor propane tank leak in the train yard.

“That’s used as a switching yard for the Ford plant, and there are several heaters along the tracks that keep the switches from freezing,” he said. “It looks like the derailment severed one of the lines to a remote heater, and it was leaking when we got there.”

Firefighters quickly secured the area and got the leak under control.

“We made it safe for the railroad workers to come in and start their job,” Young said. “They’ve got an awesome amount of work ahead of them.”

Sheffield firefighters remained on the scene until about 9 a.m. “Once we determined there was no flammable material involved, it turned into a cleanup deal for the railroad,” Young said.

Young said he has seen a number of minor derailments over the years in which “a few cars came off the tracks, but nothing like this.

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen in that stretch of track.”


Published by FELA lawyer Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP

Comments are closed.

Search Blog
Social Portals
My Zimbio