GA, Crews work to right derailed cars : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


By Eddie Daniels, Staff Writer

Traffic on 10th Avenue near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard was blocked Saturday after eight Norfolk Southern Corp. rail cars derailed on the track in Columbus, officials said.

"I was sitting there waiting for the arm to go up," said Gene Wilson, who was traveling south on 10th Avenue when she stopped her van at the railroad crossing moments before the derailment. "If it would have overturned my way, it would have crushed me to death. There would have been no way out. It scared the fire out of me!"

Shortly after 7 a.m., while rail cars were being added or "built" to the train in the Norfolk Southern rail yard, eight cars derailed, two of which completely overturned, said Norfolk Southern spokeswoman Susan Terpay.

"This happened during switching operations," Terpay said.

The cars, which were headed to Macon, Ga., were carrying mixed freight and not hazardous materials. No one was injured.

During the derailment, parts from the train could be seen flying in the air, Wilson said.

A U-Haul employee, who chose not to be identified, was helping a customer return a trailer to the 930 10th Ave. business when she asked what caused the noise. Soon afterward, the employee and customer saw the train swaying on the tracks.

Work began on clearing the street and placing the cars back onto the track after the arrival of special Caterpillar cranes from Birmingham, Ala., at noon, said Columbus police Capt. Wanna Barker-Wright. Crews were expected to stay on the scene through the night.

The cause of the derailment has not been determined and remains under investigation by Norfolk Southern officials.

-- Doris (, May 29, 2000

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