MARION COUNTY, Fla. — Two trains derailed near the Pine Church Road crossing early Wednesday morning in Citra, Marion County deputies said.
Deputies and Marion County Fire Rescue arrived just after 4:15 a.m. to find two
Four people were in the trains, including the two train operators, said deputies.
CSX said one train was on the main track and the other had pulled off on a side track, which is done to allow one train to pass another.
Authorities said one train crew member received minor injuries, and the other crew members were not injured.
"We don't make any early conclusions. So again, they look at the track. They look at the train handling. They look at the signals. They look at everything to see if it was working properly. Was there some sort of malfunction? Was it operator error?" said CSX representative Laura Phelps.
According to CSX, one train was transporting non-hazardous phosphate rock, and the other was loaded with coal.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page that “initial reports indicate that diesel fuel has been released from one or more of the locomotives. CSX environmental experts are on scene to assess and contain any product releases.”
The sheriff’s office also said that “there is no hazmat threat to the public at this time.”
CSX is working to confirm the number of derailed rail cars, deputies said.
"We will be working hard to determine what happened and our goal is to use that information to prevent it from happening again," Phelps said.
MCSO, MCFR and CSX representatives said they are assessing the situation and developing an action plan.
The phosphate train was traveling from Mulberry, Florida, to Chicago, Illinois, with three locomotives and 100 loaded phosphate cars. The coal train was traveling from Pembroke, Kentucky, to Tampa, Florida, with three locomotives and 110 loaded cars of coal.
Pine Church Road at NE 175th Street was blocked by a portion of the train, deputies said. The sheriff’s office said that CSX has moved the rail cars not affected by the incident and that “Pine Church Road will be reopened shortly.”
The cleanup efforts will continue, and it might take a few days, officials said.
Officials said they are working to determine whether systems malfunctioned or if the crash was human error.
Cox Media Group