A freight train flew off the tracks in southeastern Tennessee on Tuesday after striking a concrete truck that had become stuck at a grade-level road crossing.
According to railway officials, the train is not believed to have been carrying any hazardous cargo.
Just after noon on Tuesday, a large truck carrying a 60-foot-long concrete barrier intended to protect roadside construction became stuck as it tried to navigate a rail crossing in Collegedale, Tennessee. As it waited for the traffic light to turn green, a Norfolk Southern freight train came barreling through town, smashing through the truck and its cargo that lay straddled across the tracks.
A bystander captured the stunning incident on film. The train can be seen slamming into the concrete barrier, dragging the pieces of it along with the truck for a significant distance. By the end of the footage, the entire area is covered in dust.
— Sukie (@sah2m) December 20, 2022
While it cannot be seen in the footage, the train’s three locomotives all fell off the tracks, as did 10 freight cars carrying a variety of cargo, snarling the rails and creating a tangled mess of steel, wood, and stone.
Train derailed in Collegedale Tennessee (near Chattanooga)… photo from Tiffany Rozek pic.twitter.com/SotK4O73B3
— James Spann (@spann) December 20, 2022
— Latricia Thomas (@LatriciaTnc9) December 20, 2022
Chattanooga Fire is assisting with a train derailment in Collegedale. It happened Tues afternoon (12/20/22) at Apison Pike & University Dr. Chattanooga companies on scene: Battalion Chief for District 1, Battalion Chief for District 2, Special Operations Division, CFD Hazmat Team pic.twitter.com/yFWcgbwbBX
— Chattanooga Fire Department (@ChattFireDept) December 20, 2022
The Chattanooga Fire Department responded to the scene, where a large amount of diesel fuel was leaking from two of the locomotives. Fortunately, no fire was sparked by the crash.
However, two people were taken to area hospitals for treatment, although reportedly neither was the truck driver.
The Norfolk Southern Railway told area media that “initial reports do not indicate any hazardous material cars involved.”
Traffic remains blocked on the road where the truck was hit, as well as nearby roads, as cleanup efforts continue.
According to industry statistics, in 2021, there were 9,251 accidents or incidents involving railways in the United States, including industrial accidents and crashes, with 901 people being killed in them. The US has about 140,000 miles of railway.