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Massive Three-Train CSX Collision Causes Fires, Injuries, Evacuations

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Valparaiso, Indiana – January 6, 2012)

One eastbound CSX freight train rear-ended another stopped eastbound CSX freight, only to cause the derailment of a westbound CSX freight on an adjacent track just outside Valparaiso, IN in northwest Indiana, near Chicago, IL, early Friday afternoon about 1:14 P.M., resulting in evacuation of all residents within a half-mile radius (between 50 and 150 homes) of the wreck, injuries to two crewmen, chemical spills and fires.

Information from CSX railroad was extremely sparse, with most reports being issued by the Porter County, IN Sheriff’s Office and Porter County Emergency Services officials. CSX would only confirm that the derailment occurred on CSX property.

The only confirmed hazardous substance involved in the triple-train derailment was ethanol, but a number of other tank cars, as well as intermodal (container on flatcar) loads and covered grain hopper cars, were shown derailed through television news helicopter cameras.

The fires continued to rage at 3:00 P.M., after two train crew members of the second train in the collision, the one which obviously ran red “stop” signals and collided with the stopped train, were taken to Porter Hospital in Valparaiso with undisclosed injuries.


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