Mark Manning and his wife were taking their daily walk Friday near their Fort Mill home and walked up to a railroad trestle.
When they got to the tracks, they saw more than a dozen railroad cars toppled off the bridge and scattered into Steele Creek, Mark Manning said.
"They had really fallen deep into the earth," he said.
The 14-car freight train derailed Friday afternoon near Maple Street in York County near Fort Mill, officials said.
No one was injured and there is no hazardous materials situation, emergency and police officials said.
The Mannings were the first ones on the scene, and saw the engine stopped near a pumping station.
"It was a little strange for a train to be stopped there," he said.
They called Norfolk Southern police, he said, and talked with 911 operators while emergency teams drove to the scene.
Hazardous materials and emergency crews were still at the site assessing cleanup needs Friday evening, said Chuck Haynes, York County Emergency Management Director. He said there is no public safety or environmental concerns from the material spilled.
It's unclear how long it will take to clear the scene, Haynes said.
The location is just east of Maple Street and Old Nation Road, also called S.C. 21 Business, officials said. The site where the train cars landed is feet from hiking trails on the Anne Springs Close Greenway, including a swinging bridge over Steele Creek.
The site appears to be just outside the town of Fort Mill limits, said Trent Faris, spokesman for the York County Sheriff’s Office.
The situation happened about the same time Fort Mill and county police were handling traffic concerns for the Strawberry Festival in Fort Mill but police are handling the scene and traffic without problems for motorists, said Jeff Helms, Fort Mill Police Chief.
Fort Mill Fire Department officials were also on scene along with other departments, Helms said.
Several hopper type cars and other freight cars were seen to be off the track, said Maj Bryan Zachary of the Fort Mill Police Department.