Derailed Train Turned Fiery HAZMAT Site First Rolled 20 Miles On Fiery Axle

The freight train that derailed earlier this month near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border and turned into a smoldering, days-long HAZMAT situation traveled at least 20 miles beforehand with an axle that appeared to be on fire.

  • The train crew had received an alert shortly before the Feb. 3 derailment, but it is unclear when the alert came through.
  • Security cameras at two Salem industrial plants captured the axle blazing as it passed.
  • The wreckage remained on fire for several days after the derailment, with several train cars carrying the toxic and potentially explosive chemical vinyl chloride so dangerous that officials created a one-mile evacuation zone.
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