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Evacuations near Philly after hazardous material train derailment

Police car with lights. (Dreamstime/TNS)
July 17, 2023

Local residents and businesses were forced to evacuate Monday morning after a CSX Norfolk Southern freight train derailed in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. At least one car was transporting hazardous material, officials said.

According to Fox Business, 16 of the freight train’s 40 total train cars derailed just prior to 5 a.m. at the Plymouth meeting section of Whitemarsh Township near Stenton Avenue, Flourtown Road, and Joshua Road.

While evacuations were mandated for those located near the train derailment, officials have indicated that is is not likely that further evacuations will be required.

Officials have also reported that there are no known injuries from the incident and that there are currently no hazards to the public.

“While preliminary reports indicate that one car transporting hazardous material was involved in the incident, there is no indication of any leaks or spills of hazardous materials and there are no injuries to the crew of the train,” a CSX statement said. “The local fire department responded and declared an evacuation of just over a dozen homes out of an abundance of caution.”

READ MORE: Amtrak train derails in DC’s Union Station tunnel

Whitemarsh Emergency Services is currently investgating the CSX Northfolk Southern freight train derailment.

In an update provided by the Whitemarsh Township Police Department, officials said, “As of now, the only thing that is leaking from any of the rail cars involved, is silicone pellets which pose no risk to the community.”

Officials also encouraged local residents to follow the police department’s website for “any important factual updates” as the department continues to gather information concerning the train derailment.

“We thank all the community partners and resources that are working with us on scene ensuring the safety of our community,” the statement concluded.

After Monday’s early morning train derailment, Governor Josh Shapiro (D-Pa.) tweeted a statement, informing the public that the governor’s team is “monitoring the train derailment” and working to assist local first responders. The governor thanked residents for “taking precautions at the direction of local authorities,” adding, “I urge you to continue following their instruction.”

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.