Pennsylvania

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Train carrying crude oil derails on Philadelphia bridge

A CSX unit train delivers a load of crude oil from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota to the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery in South Philadelphia.

NAT HAMILTON/WHYY NEWS

A CSX unit train delivers a load of crude oil from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota to the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery in South Philadelphia.

Train cars carrying crude oil and sand derailed on a Philadelphia bridge early this morning, leaving the cars intact but leaning over the Schuylkill River.

The Coast Guard and the rail company CSX said the cars derailed on the Schuylkill Arsenal Bridge at around 12:30 a.m. and there was no evidence that they spilled any of their cargo.

The 101-car train was traveling from Chicago to Philadelphia when seven of the cars derailed, CSX said. Six of those cars were carrying crude oil and one was carrying sand. CSX said in a statement that the company is working “to clear the derailment in a way that is safe and environmentally responsible.”

The Coast Guard sent a team of pollution responders to the scene and another small crew in a boat is enforcing a safety zone in the river south of the bridge.

Video from NBC10 shows the cars tilting over the water while crews spread booms in the river below. The cause of the derailment is under investigation.

As StateImpact PA has reported, domestic oil production in the Midwest has helped revive Philadelphia-area refineries and led to a surge in rail traffic as tankers carry the crude across the country. That activity has also raised safety concerns, especially after an oil train derailment last year in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, killed 47 people and destroyed much of the town center.

Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering holding a hearing on oil-by-rail safety in March.

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