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Rockslide causes fiery train crash in Kentucky, sends rail cars into river


Feb. 13, 2020

A rockslide caused a CSX train to go off the rails in Eastern Kentucky, causing a fire and sending at least one engine and multiple cars into the Big Sandy River.
The southbound train had 96 loaded ethanol cars and two loaded rock cars when it derailed in Draffin, Kentucky, around 7:05 a.m., CSX said.
Two locomotives and an unknown number of rail cars went into the Big Sandy River near Pond Creek Road, according CSX. One of the derailed locomotives, as well as an unknown number of cars, also caught fire, the company said.
Pike County Emergency Management Director Doug Tackett said diesel fuel from the train spilled and caught fire, but emergency management crews have contained the blaze.
Tackett said that two crew members went into the river but were extracted by a water rescue crew and taken to a nearby hospital with what seem to be non-life-threatening injuries.
With the help of several fire departments and the Kentucky State Police, the fire was contained at about 9 a.m., Tackett said. The fire will now burn itself out, which Tackett said might continue for the rest of the day.
Six to 10 nearby homes were evacuated during the fire, but Tackett said Thursday morning that residents would be allowed to return shortly.
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