Norfolk Southern Derailment Leads to Suffolk Coal Spill

A Norfolk Southern derailment in Suffolk over the weekend highlights the dangers railroad workers face on a daily basis.

The 42-car train derailment occurred on Saturday morning. It led to prolonged road closures. Reports stated nobody was hurt.

The Daily Press reported the Norfolk Southern coal train was traveling east on Saturday morning when 42 coal cars derailed. The derailment caused damage to a warehouse and the windows of a nearby home and vehicle.

The report stated Wellons Street and Saratoga Street at Hall Avenue in Suffolk remain closed on Monday. Crews worked to clear more than 40 cars, the City of Suffolk stated in a news release.

Officials have not made an official statement on the cause of the derailment.

Norfolk Southern derailments

There were dramatic scenes in downtown Suffolk after the Norfolk-Southern derailment. However, the incident could have been so much worse.

Tommy Vaughan, who lives close to the scene of the derailment, said it sounded like a tornado was approaching. He told the Daily Press.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen something like this – I’m glad it didn’t come through the house.”

The Norfolk Southern derailment resulted in a major clean-up operation in downtown Suffolk.

Norfolk Southern Derailment in Pennsylvania

Derailments involving Norfolk Southern trains and other operators are not as rare as we may think.

In December, a Norfolk Southern train derailed in Marysville, PA.

Norfolk Southern suggested the wind may have played a part in the early morning incident.

A westbound train was coming from Harrisburg when four rear cars derailed as it crossed the Rockvale Bridge.

The derailed train cars knocked over a handrail while loose stones from the tracks spilled onto a roadway underneath the Marysville ‘subway’ tunnel. However, the cars did not fall off the bridge. Nobody was injured in this derailment.

Derailments pose dangers to local residents as well as railroad workers. This is particularly the case when trains carrying hazardous substances derail.

In March 2016, a Norfolk Southern train derailed in Erie in New York. Dozens of homes in the area were evacuated due to an ethanol spill from the crash.

More than a decade ago, a Norfolk Southern derailment in Graniteville, SC, killed nine people and left many more seriously ill.

It serves as a sobering reminder of the dangerous materials many trains are carrying and the inherent risks to railroad workers and those living in nearby communities. The big railroads like Norfolk Southern and CSX are seeing an alarming number of derailments including in Virginia cities like Suffolk and Lynchburg. These communities have been lucky in that the derailments apparently caused no injuries or deaths. However, the incidents highlight the vulnerability of workers and those living near the tracks.

If you have been injured in a railroad accident, please call me for a free consultation at (866) 455-6657.

John Cooper