Knoxville/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 27, 2024
Bridge Collapse Triggers Train Derailment in LaFollette, Tennessee, CSX Launches Probe, No Injuries ReportedSource: Google Street View

A train derailment in LaFollette, Tennessee, on Saturday morning has left a mile of railroad in ruins. According to WATE-TV, the accident occurred around 10:19 a.m. after a bridge collapse caused 15 cars to come off the tracks along West Central Avenue.

Chief Steve Wallen of the LaFollette Police Department reported the metal frame supporting the Ivydale Bridge had broken, leading to the train's derailment. As the train approached the compromised structure, "the train’s conductor said he 'felt it give'," Wallen explained in a statement obtained by WVLT News. No one was injured, and no hazardous materials were involved.

Shaken by the incident, the conductor was fortunately the sole person bearing witness to the immediate aftermath of the disaster. CSX, the company owning the freight train, has started an investigation into the cause of the accident and estimates that clean-up and restorations will take roughly two to three days, as reported by Trains News Wire. The section of railway stretching from Ivydale Bridge to West Central Avenue is currently "completely destroyed," affirmed Chief Wallen.

Residential areas near the derailment remain accessible through detours involving 11th and 13th streets, the police chief said, urging residents to avoid the area around the derailment. Despite none of the derailed cars leaking hazardous materials, Wallen warned locals of the potential hazards, as some cars contained flammable and corrosive liquids, "and other cars are off the track or may be at risk of coming off the tracks," Wallen told WATE-TV. Authorities are currently keeping a close watch to ensure public safety around the accident site.