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Derailment, blast crumple buildings near Baltimore

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Updated: 5/28/2013 7:06 pm
WHITE MARSH, Md. (AP) -- Officials say a derailment, explosion and fire in suburban Baltimore happened after a CSX cargo train crashed into a trash truck.

The train went off the tracks in White Marsh, about 10 miles northeast of Baltimore. The explosion that followed rattled homes at least a half-mile away and collapsed nearby buildings, setting them on fire.

Hazmat teams are on the scene, but officials say they aren't sure yet what is still burning. The thick plume of black smoke has been visible for miles, and is drifting across the Baltimore city line and covering the eastern part of the city.

Photos and video on TV stations showed at least three rail cars off the tracks. Overhead news shots show several blackened buildings and fires burning. A fire department spokeswoman said several buildings "fell apart."

A Baltimore County official told WBAL-TV that the truck driver was in serious but stable condition. The fire department tweeted that two CSX workers aboard the train weren't injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board will conduct an investigation.

[SLIDESHOW: TRAIN DERAILMENT]

CSX issues statement

CSX issued this statement:

CSX is working with emergency responders at Rosedale, Maryland, on the derailment of a CSX freight train. CSX’s top priority is the safety of the community, the emergency responders and the environment, and an emergency response plan is activated to provide full support.

CSX understands that at least one person, the driver of a truck struck by the train immediately before the derailment, was seriously injured. CSX’s train crew – a locomotive engineer and conductor – was not seriously injured. CSX encourages area residents to monitor news reports and notification systems to be advised of any road closures or evacuation orders.

An investigation is under way. The train was en route from Selkirk, N.Y., to Waycross, Ga., when the derailment occurred around 2 p.m. today. It appears that about a dozen rail cars are involved, including at least one rail car containing a material classified by U.S. Department of Transportation as a hazardous material. That is sodium chlorate, an oxidizer used in a variety of industrial processes. The train was being pulled by two locomotives and had 45 rail cars, containing a variety of products from lumber to printing paper.

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