Freight train hits truck and derails in Maryland; it ‘felt like an earthquake’

Posted at 3:28 PM, May 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-28 17:16:26-04
(CNN) — A CSX freight train collided with a commercial truck and derailed in the Baltimore area Tuesday, officials said, seriously injuring the truck’s driver and leading to an explosion that a witness said could be felt blocks away.

The crash happened in Rosedale, just to the east of Baltimore, Baltimore County firefighter Jonathan Meehan said. The truck driver was taken to a hospital, said Baltimore County police and fire spokeswoman Elise Armacost. The driver was in stable but serious condition.

An explosion followed.

“CSX indicates that there is no toxic inhalants, so we do not believe there is any substantial risk to the community,” Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz told reporters.

A fire continued to burn at the scene.

Video from CNN affiliate WBAL showed at least five of the train’s cars off the track, and white and black smoke rising in separate columns from the wreckage.

Kevin Lindemann told CNN he was working in Baltimore Windustrial, a plumbing supply warehouse along the track, when he felt something “like an earthquake.” He went to a window.

“The first thing you see is two or three train cars flipped over the side, sliding down the track,” said Lindemann, a sales representative at the warehouse, which he said is a few blocks from the nearest train-road intersection.

Seeing one of the train’s cars on fire, Lindemann and the other people in the warehouse left the building and drove away. The explosion happened after he and the others congregated a few blocks away, he said.

“I couldn’t see (the explosion) directly, but it was deafening,” he said. “It almost forced you to your knees. There were a couple people that were knocked down by it.”

The warehouse appeared to be damaged from the blast, Lindemann said after seeing aerial video of the crash site on TV.