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Derailed train in York County forces road detours during cleanup. Here’s what we know

Train derails in Fort Mill, overturning a dozen railroad cars near walking trails

A large train derailed late Friday afternoon in Fort Mill near a popular walking trail on the Anne Springs Close Greenway. More than a dozen railroad cars fell off a trestle and a bridge. No one was injured in the accident.
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A large train derailed late Friday afternoon in Fort Mill near a popular walking trail on the Anne Springs Close Greenway. More than a dozen railroad cars fell off a trestle and a bridge. No one was injured in the accident.

A train derailed Wednesday morning in eastern York County near the Catawba River.

Four Norfolk Southern cars and a tanker derailed near the intersection of Cureton Ferry Road and Rowells Road near the major highways S.C. 21 and S.C. 5, said Chuck Haynes, York County Emergency Management director.

The Rowells Road crossing of the tracks at the crash scene remained closed Wednesday afternoon as the cleanup continued, Norfolk Southern and county officials said. Traffic is being detoured from Rowells Road to other nearby roads until cleanup is finished, according to the S.C. Department of Transportation.

No one was injured, police and emergency officials said.

The derailment happened around 7:20 a.m and was reported to county officials soon afterward, Haynes said.

No environmental problems have been reported, Haynes said.

One of the train cars is a tanker that was empty but has the capacity to carry hazardous materials, said Haynes and Mike Lewis of the emergency management office. The other four box-type cars were also empty, officials said.

“There is no threat to the public - it is just a question now of getting the scene cleared,” Haynes said.

The cause of the derailment remains under investigation by rail and county officials.

Some of the cars were damaged and had to be placed onto flatbed train cars so that the train could be moved, said Susan Terpay, a spokesperson for Norfolk Southern. A crane was brought to the site to lift the cars back onto the tracks or onto the flatbed cars in a process called “re-railing,” Terpay said.

Norfolk Southern officials are also examining the track in the crash site to see if repairs have to be made to return the track to normal commercial train traffic, Terpay said.

The train had offloaded chemicals at the nearby Resolute Wood Products plant before the crash, officials said. The paper=making plant used to be called Abitibi Bowater and has been a York County fixture for decades.

The derailment is the second in York County in 2018 and third in the area. A train derailed in Lancaster County June 4 after a derailment in Fort Mill on May 4. The Fort Mill derailment was also a Norfolk Southern train and took several days to clen up after 15 cars were knocked off the tracks.

S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control officials were called to the scene.

Vehicle traffic was temporarily rerouted but by 9 a.m was flowing with few impediments aside from the Rowell Road detour, said Trent Faris, spokesman for the York County Sheriff’s office.

Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065, @AndrewDysHerald

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