Of the 15 derailed coal cars, approximately 7 looked to be overturned completely, causing nearly all of their coal contents to spill out onto the roadway and into other areas adjacent to the tracks. Additionally, 2 of the overturned cars were hanging directly above the first of 2 traffic tunnels (if heading North on the avenue) and seemed to have caused some structural damage to the overpass area. In fact, a lone tree, as well as the weight of some of the remaining upright cars, could have been the only things actually keeping the 2 cars from falling completely into the road.
Members of the Madisonville Fire Department were on the scene blocking traffic when iSurf News first arrived at the scene as well.
Scott Lovan, a member of the MFD, told iSurf News that they believed the derailment to have occurred between 12:30 and 1am today. In addition, Lovan explained to iSurf News that there was no definite reason for the train’s derailment as of yet, but noted that the incident may have been a result of an improperly set “toad” or switch-track device. Whereas the track switch should have been set in the direction of only one track, Lovan had understood from CSX workers that the switch had been set somewhere in the middle, causing the train to try and go in two opposing directions.
Lovan also mentioned that this section of the road would be closed until the spilled coal and other debris had been completely removed. Members of the MFD also mentioned that employees of Smiley Excavation were on the scene trying to get everything cleaned up as soon as possible so that the roadway could be opened again, yet had no definite estimation as to when that would be.
As of right now, there have been no injuries reported as a result of the incident.
Other than thanking the MFD for their information and services at the scene, iSurf News would also like to thank Ms. Katie Russell of Madisonville, KY for first informing us of the incident.
As more news on the incident becomes available, look to iSurf News for the latest updates.
Additional slideshow photos provided to iSurf News by Jeremy Hickle.
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