COLLEGEDALE, Tenn. — A freight train derailed in Tennessee early Tuesday afternoon after it smashed into a semi-truck crossing the railroad tracks carrying a 134-foot concrete bridge beam, according to law enforcement authorities.
The crash and subsequent derailment occurred in Collegedale, which is a suburb of Chattanooga in Hamilton County, at around 1:30 p.m. The massive collision was captured on video (see below).
The recording appears to show the Norfolk Southern train plowing into a semi-truck hauling a long concrete highway barrier, according to News Channel 9.
The trailer appeared to be slowly creeping along when the crash occurred. The impact created the derailment, causing three locomotives and 10 train cars to leave the tracks.
#BREAKING UPDATE: 2 Norfolk Southern employees were taken to the hospital with MINOR INJURIES.
The driver of the truck that the train struck was NOT HURT, officials just announced. pic.twitter.com/asOnZx7vcC
— WTVC NewsChannel 9 (@newschannelnine) December 20, 2022
Officials say two Norfolk Southern employees were taken to the hospital with unspecified injuries. Their conditions are unknown at the present time. The truck driver was not hurt, Local 3 News reported.
A Norfolk Sothern representative said, “initial reports do no indicate any hazardous material cars involved.”
Separate videos of the aftermath shot by bystanders at the scene show train cars resting on their sides in a wooded area by the railroad tracks, the New York Post reported.
The Collegedale Police Department sent out a tweet asking people to stay away from the area of the derailment near University Drive and Apison Pike.
The Chattanooga Fire Department shared several photos of the scene in a tweet.
Personnel are trying to stop a diesel and lube oil leak from two of the locomotives. No other hazardous materials are involved at this time. A number of different agencies are working this incident. Photos from BC2 Schroyer. pic.twitter.com/QEjeImSq0o
— Chattanooga Fire Department (@ChattFireDept) December 20, 2022
Spokeswoman Amy Maxwell of the Hamilton County Emergency Services issued the following statement:
“According to fire officials, the driver of the tractor trailer was stopped on the railroad tracks waiting for the light to turn green on Tucker Road. During that time, Norfolk Southern railroad activated its crossing arms. The tractor trailer was unsuccessful of clearing the railroad tracks and was hit by the train. Three locomotives and 10 railroad cars derailed and slammed into each other causing a disastrous mess!”