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VALPARAISO, IN – Three CSX freight trains collided in a fiery pileup in a rural section of Porter County, IN just northeast of Valparaiso.

Thick black smoke visible for miles from the collision of three CSX freight trains following a collision and derailment on tracks near Valpariso, IN on January 6, 2012.

Valparaiso is located in Porter County, Indiana in the northwestern part of the state about 20 miles southeast of Gary and about 13 miles southeast of Portage.


The first train derailed after crashing into the rear of another train that was stopped on the tracks. The third train coming in the opposite direction on a parallel track ran into the debris from the first wreck.

The result was a fiery pileup of rail cars involving hazardous materials. Two railroad workers were injured in the mishap and had to be taken to a nearby hospital and an evacuation was ordered for more than 100 people nearby.

An article on the story appeared in the MSNBC News website:

One westbound train was stopped on the tracks in a remote stretch of Porter County between Washington and Jackson townships when a second train rear-ended it. An eastbound train on a parallel track collided with the debris from the original collision, explained Sgt. Larry LaFlower with the Porter County Sheriff’s Department.

The accident occurred near County Road 600 N and County Road 500 East.

Map showing location of CSX train derailment and collision in a rural area of Porter County, IN near county roads 600 North and 500 East.

The injured railroad workers were taken to Porter Hospital in Valparaiso. Details are sketchy, but their injuries were reported to be non-life threatening.

The first collision was between a 77-car westbound train that was stopped on the tracks. A second 60-car westbound train rear-ended the stopped train causing rail cars from both trains to derail. A third train with 48 cars was traveling in the opposite direction on a parallel track and crashed into the debris from the first two trains.

Each of the three trains had two crew members aboard. The two injured railroad workers were aboard the first train that rear-ended the stopped train. None of the other four other railroad workers were injured in the mishap.

The MSNBC article also reported:

No significant leaks or spills of hazardous materials appear to have occurred but inspections of all loaded and empty hazardous materials cars are under way

The fire was a result of the collision involving the third train. About 100 to 200 people were evacuated from the area. There were hazardous materials involved. Some of the hazardous materials were from empty cars and some were flammable materials in other rail cars.

According to the railroad company, the first two trains had two locomotives each and the third train had three locomotives.

The cause of the train wreck and derailment is not known, but is currently under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

FELA Lawyer News Blog is a FELA, train accident and personal injury blog that publishes up to date train accidents and FELA legal news from across the United States. The Federal Employers ‘Liability Act, (FELA) allows injured railroad workers to recover compensation based on the negligence of the railroad company, in lieu of workers’ compensation. FELA defines negligence as the railroad company’s failure to use reasonable care.

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