SOUTHAMPTON COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) - A CSX train derailed in Southampton County early Thursday morning, injuring a conductor and engineer and sparking a fire.
Maj. Gene Drewery with the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office said deputies received a call from CSX that a train derailed between the Dominion Power Plant and the Ashland Chemical Plant around 2:30 a.m.
Drewery said the train was slowing into the chemical plant when it derailed. There was a diesel fuel spill, but there was not a chemical spill. Two locomotives and nine cars were involved.
The crash also caused a large fire, which Drewery said spread to trees along the side of the tracks, but was later contained.
An engineer and a conductor were transported from the scene with injuries. "They were disoriented, our officers just opened the door and helped them get out of the train and get off because of the fire," Drewery said. One was treated at Southampton Memorial Hospital, and the other was transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. They were released from the hospital Thursday.
Donald Case said he used to work for CSX and drove from Richmond to check on the crash. "It's a bad one. I mean the pictures I saw on the news this morning looked pretty rough. So I rode down there to see if I could see anything," Case said.
Case said he knows the two men who were on the train, and was thankful they were not seriously hurt. "They really are lucky. They could have been killed real easy," Case said.
The train is made up of 41 cars which were carrying mixed freight. The train originated in Portsmouth and was en route to Rocky Mount, N.C.
The tracks reopened Friday morning around 2 a.m., Carla Groleau with CSX told WAVY.com. Investigators said it could take weeks to determine the cause of the derailment.
Stay with WAVY.com for more on this developing story.
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