(BALTIMORE) — Authorities investigating a train derailment in Maryland that caused an explosion and left one person in serious condition are hoping that a camera on the front of the train will be able to help them answer questions about what happened.
Fifteen freight train cars derailed in an industrial area of White Marsh, Md., on Tuesday. The derailment of the CSX train caused an explosion so strong that several surrounding buildings collapsed or were damaged.
An overturned garbage truck could be seen at the scene and the driver was the injured person, according to the Baltimore County Police and Fire Department.
The truck driver has been identified as John Alban Jr., 50, a retired Baltimore County firefighter and current volunteer firefighter for the Hyde Park Volunteer Fire Department.
Alban was removed from the truck and taken to a hospital. He is in serious but stable condition, authorities said.
The train and truck collided, but officials have not yet provided details on the collision or whether the collision caused the derailment. Police said that there was not yet anything to indicate foul play and that a camera attached to the front of the train would help them determine what happened.
The National Transportation Safety Board is the lead investigative agency on the incident and is expected to provide more information at a news conference today.
Two CSX train employees were not injured, officials said.
Baltimore Fire Chief John Hohman told a news conference Tuesday that 15 cars derailed and two cars were ablaze that contained the chemicals terephthalic acid, which is used in plastics, and fluorosilicic acid.
A third car carrying the dangerous chemical sodium chlorate was not on fire, he said.
A CSX official later clarified the situation.
“Four cars contained terephthalic acid,” the official, Kristin Seay, said in a written statement. “One car contained fluorosilicic acid. That rail car was empty, but CSX lists it as a ‘residue car’ because the car may still contain traces of the product.”
Long-term exposure to terephthalic acid can cause respiratory problems, authorities said, citing a state of New Jersey report.
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