The explosion was felt and heard miles away. Fire officials were letting the fire burn itself out.(Photo: James LeBrun, AP)
ROSEDALE, Md. (WUSA9) -- National Transportation Safety Board investigators returned to the scene Wednesday after a cargo train derailed in the 7500 block of Lake Drive in Rosedale on Tuesday afternoon.
A CSX transportation spokesperson said on Wednesday that sodium chlorate in a car derailed the train and the explosion ignited terephthlaic acid from another derailed car. According to the Associated Press, sodium chlorate is used as a bleaching agent in paper production. NTSB officials say they haven't officially determined the cause of the explosion and derailment yet.
Around 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, 15 cars of a 45-car CSX train carrying chemicals derailed and exploded in the Rosedale section of Baltimore County. Two cars caught on fire.
One person was seriously hurt in the wreck. The driver is identified as 50-year-old John J. Alban Jr. of the 1400 block of Sussex Road, who was transported to the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. He remains there in serious condition. Alban is a retired firefighter with the Baltimore County Fire Department as well as a volunteer at the Hyde Park Volunteer Fire County.
Investigators say a train slammed into a trash truck that was at a private crossing. According to investigators, the private crossing had a stop sign but no crossing arm or bells warning of an incoming train.
We are told the train had a video camera mounted inside of it. Investigators have the tape and they will take a close look at it to figure out exactly what happened.
People in nearby businesses reported hearing the boom and then feeling violent shaking. Some who were close enough to watch that massive plume of black smoke ignite into fire say that subsequent explosion threw them to the ground. Twenty businesses were damaged.
People in about a 20-block radius were told to leave the area or stay inside with the windows closed. We're told the train was carrying chemicals used to make plastic, including sodium chlorate which is hazardous but is not toxic and poses no sure threat to the community.
CSX Corporation said in a press release on Tuesday, "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 contained a variety of products from lumber to printing paper.
The fire was brought under control at 10:40 Tuesday night. There are still some firefighters there Wednesday morning just monitoring the area. Investigators with the NTSB have managed to move about 30 of the unaffected train cars further up the tracks while they focus on the 15 that derailed Tuesday.
The train was en route from Selkirk, N.Y., to Waycross, Ga.