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NEW INFO: Greenville Train Derailment Not Weather-Related

By: Heather King/Carly Swain
By: Heather King/Carly Swain

Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas says CSX officials have told him the train derailment was not a result of the weather and flooding.

Thomas says his contact at the railroad company told him the trains jumped the track because of a technical glitch. A man who identified himself as one of the conductors told WITN's Carly Swain right after the accident that he believes the train derailed because of a switcher issue.

In all, five cars from the train ended up off the tracks around 14th Street and Evans--two locomotives and three tankers. Part of the train rolled down the hill toward Pirates Place Apartments.

One of the tankers was leaking a fertilizer chemical called ammonium polyphosphate. Battalion Chief Shannon Terry says the chemical is neither flammable nor a health risk. The leak has been contained.



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Five train cars derailed in Greenville around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The two engines and three train cars jumped the tracks around 14th Street and Evans in Greenville. One car rolled down the hill near the Harris Teeter and Pirates Place Apartments.

Firefighters at the derailment say there is a leak from one of the train cars, but they say the fluid is not hazardous. Greenville Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Shannon Terry says the liquid is ammonium polyphosphate, which is often used for agriculture purposes. It is neither flammable nor a health risk. Battalion Chief Terry says the leak has been contained.

No nearby buildings were evacuated.

North Carolina Emergency Management and a hazmat team from Williamston are responding, in addition to Pitt County EMS and Greenville Police.

Firefighters at the derailment say there is a leak from one of the train cars, but they say the fluid is not hazardous. However, officials are telling people to stay out of the standing water on Charles underneath the train tressel. They say they are concerned some of the chemicals from inside the busted train car may have leaked into that water. The main concern, according to an alert from ECU, is minor irritation of the skin.

A conductor told Carly Swain he believes the accident is the result of a switcher issue. He says he's shaken up but physically ok.

Greenville-Fire Rescue says they're not speculating on a cause at this time. We've reached out to CSX; we'll let you know what they say.


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