NEWTON FALLS, OH – A CSX train carrying hazardous materials derailed in Newton Falls, OH on Monday, March 28, 2011. The train was carrying ammonia and chlorine.
Newton Falls is a city in Newton Township located in Trumbull County, Ohio in the northeastern part of the state about 24 miles northwest of Youngstown.
The westbound, 101 car train derailed about 6:45 a.m. on Monday near Center Street. A local HAZMAT team responded to the incident when it was learned that 4 of the train’s 101 cars were chlorine tankers. As a precaution, an area within 500 feet of the accident was ordered and later expanded. In all, about 500 people were evacuated.
Fortunately, none of the chlorine tankers derailed in the incident and officials believe that no chemicals spilled as a result of the mishap. There was also some concern that ammonia may have been leaking from a refrigeration car, but as it turned out, that was not the case.
No injuries were reported and, fortunately, no railroad workers were hurt as a result of the incident.
Several rail cars jumped the tracks in the mishap and at least two of them fell off a bridge onto the roadway below. The train accident caused quite a mess and officials believed it would take a couple of days to clean up.
Firefighters and HAZMAT crews were called in from Trumbull, Portage and Mahoning counties.
Also damaged in the accident was the Franklin Street Station, a railroad building dating back to 1904. The building was known as “The Tower.” by local residents. Although there was no published history of the building, a postcard made from a painting from the 1930s was found by librarians from the Public Library in Newton Falls.
The building was so badly damaged in the derailment that it had to be demolished.
An article with some information about the derailment and the Dispatch Tower was published in the The Vindicator website from Youngstown, OH (Vindy.com):
One thing that won’t return as normal, however, is a building that many locals refer to as “The Tower.” It’s the former B&O Depot, also known as the Franklin Street Station, a former elevated station between Canal and Center streets. It stands above Franklin Street.
A CSX spokesman says the station, which CSX owns, has not been used for two years.
“The building, also called the “Dispatch Tower,” has a section on the top that CSX used to use for keeping track of train traffic in the area, Fire Chief Richard Bauman said.
Officials do not know the cause of the derailment but it is currently under investigation. Local residents who had wo be evacuated were issued checks by the railroad as compensation for food, lodging, lost wages and other losses.
Published by FELA lawyer Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP