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ORISKANY, NY – An Amtrak train struck some debris from a CSX train operating on a parallel track in Oriskany, New York, just outside the border of Whitestown on Sunday, May 16, 2010. about 12:15 p.m. The accident caused the trains to sideswipe each other, ripping a 3 to 4-inch gash in the 2,000 gallon fuel tank of the passenger train and causing about 900 gallons of diesel fuel to spill onto the tracks.

Crews work to clean up after CSX and Amtrak trains sideswipe each other in Oriskany, NY

Whitestown is about 2 miles southeast of Oriskany. Oriskany is located in the north-central part of the state, about 8 miles northwest of Utica, about 247 miles northwest of New York City, about 128 miles east of Rochester, about 191 miles east of Buffalo and about 100 miles northwest of Albany.

According to the Whitesboro Fire Department, no one was injured in the incident but it did cause various trains passing through the Utica area to be delayed for several hours and over 100 passengers from the Amtrak train had to be returned to Union Staion in Utica where they disembarked, frightened and shaken up, but safe, nonetheless.


About 100 passengers who were aboard the Amtrak train were transported to Utica’s Boehlert Center at Union Station using fire department busses.

Amtrack officials reported that the passenger train was Amtrak number 63. It was traveling northbound from New York City to Toronto at the time. By 3:30 p.m., passengers boarded another train that made all the same stops that Amtrak train No. 63 would have made. One of the two affected tracks had been re-opened by then.

Other trains in the area were delayed because crews were working to clean up the tracks as a result of the accident.

After the accident, police and fire departments were called in as well as the state Department of Conservation. Fire departments from Oriskany, Whitesboro, Stittville and Floyd responded to the scene.

One Amtrak passenger recounted the incident and remarked that on the other side of the track there was a maintenance car that was going by them and that something sticking out of that train must have hit the the passing train.

Officials investigated the accident and determined that somehow an extension arm of the CSX maintenance train was extended too far from that train. A CSX representative made an announcement on Monday that the northbound Amtrak train struck that extension arm and that was the cause of the accident.

Location of train accident between a CSX maintenance train and an Amtrak passenger train about a mile southeast of River Street in Oriskany, NY

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (D.E.C.) reported that 900 gallons of diesel fuel spilled along the train tracks in the accident. Crews were on the scene of the accident on Monday morning to clean it up.

Because of concern that some diesel fuel had spilled, Hazmat teams were called to the scene of the accident. Initial reports were that hundreds of gallons of fuel has spilled onto the tracks.

Officials from the CSX Corporation worked with an environmental services company to pump the fuel away from the tracks. Emergency crews spread a tarpaulin over the tracks and used garbage bins to clean up the spilled fuel. After the accident on Sunday night it was not known whether there may be any potential environmental impacts from the fuel spill.

Steve Litwhiler, regional spokesperson for the D.E.C. announced that much of the spill has been cleaned up, but that they won’t know exactly how long it will take to finish cleaning up the rest of it until later on in the week. By then they will have a better idea. Some of the diesel fuel has seeped into the soil near the tracks.

Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP, is a top nationwide FELA lawyer firm representing railroad workers injured on the job who need experienced attorneys knowledgeable in the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). For expert advice and FELA help, call 800.773.6770.

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