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Train Impact Causes Spill

By Staff | Aug 18, 2010

A diesel spill dumped an estimated 1,500 gallons of fuel on the CSX rail yard, located in the Brooklyn section of New Martinsville, Aug. 10 after two rail cars collided.

At about 9 p.m. emergency personnel received a report that two train cars had collided at the railyard. New Martinsville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Larry Couch said his crews were the first to respond to the scene.

The accident occurred, Couch said, when a locomotive traveling north collided with a box car loaded with shredded paper. After impact, the train rolled on its side, causing its “belly fuel tank” to be ripped open and fuel to pour out, Couch said.

“We are lucky it wasn’t worse,” Couch said. “Those fuel tanks hold about 3,000 gallons of fuel and this one was full.”

When the locomotive rolled, it was sitting about two feet off the ground, which stopped some of the flow of the fuel, Couch said. An outside contractor brought in to clean up the site estimated the spill to be about 1,500 gallons.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection was at the site Aug. 11 investigating the spill.

Two men who were riding on the locomotive were taken to the Wetzel County Hospital Emergency Department, where they were treated and released.