ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJLA) – At least two people are dead after a CSX train derailed near Frederick Road in downtown Ellicott City.
Howard County Executive Ken Ulman says the 80-car train carrying coal derailed in the 8000 block of Frederick Road around 12 a.m. Tuesday.
CSX Spokesperson Bob Sullivan says the train was traveling from Grafton, West Virginia to Baltimore, Md. and consisted of two locomotives and 80 cars.
Ulman says first responders found 21 of the 80 train cars dereailed or overturned. He says some of them flipped over and fell from a bridge, located about 20 feet off the ground, which crosses Frederick Road, and crushed parked vehicles in a parking lot below.
Ulman says the two victims were on the bridge at the time of the incident, but were not railroad employees. The victims have not yet been identified.
Ulman says the three CSX employees on the train were in the locomotive and all are OK.
It’s unclear what caused the crash.
Ulman says crews are working to clean up the coal that spilled from the train. He says representatives from the Maryland Department of the Environment are also on the scene trying to determine the environmental impact and how much coal landed in the river.
Main Street and Frederick Road is closed as officials await heavy duty cranes to remove the rail cars from the scene so rescue teams can continue their search for victims.
CSX is assisting local officials with the investigation.