Train derails at Venice Road

SANDUSKY Norfolk Southern and Triple Crown are going to need more than toilet paper and paper towels
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

Norfolk Southern and Triple Crown are going to need more than toilet paper and paper towels to clean up this mess.

A total of 22 Triple Crown trailers derailed Monday afternoon on the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks at the Venice Road crossing with 17 trailers overturned. At least one trailer spilled its contents of toilet paper and paper towels onto the road.

Trevor Weatherwax and his coworkers ran from the Huron Cement building on Venice Road after hearing trailers ripping from the Norfolk Southern train track.

"It sounded like repetitive thunder. We just ran out the door. We didn't know what was going on," he said.

The sound of the train passing, to which they had grown accustomed, sounded much more dire Monday afternoon.

"Usually it just goes thump, thump, thump. Today it was thump, thump, thump, bang," said Jim Smith, another Huron Cement employee.

Co-worker Marc Austin agreed.

"It was horrifying ... It sounded like bombs going off all at once, simultaneously. It was crazy," he said.

Sandusky fire Battalion Chief Benny Higgenbotham said none of the trailers carried hazardous materials.

"We were fortunate there were no hazmats that we know of, and that there were no injuries," Higgenbotham said.

A trailer split a utility pole as it came off the track.

Jeremy Bettis of Triple Crown said the Venice Road crossing isn't known for being particularly dangerous or difficult.

"Most of the trains do pretty good coming in and out of the yard with speed restrictions and stuff like that. It's just a fluke type of thing, a rail broke or something like that. We won't know anything like that until it gets cleaned up," he said.

As of 8 p.m. Monday, the train had not been cleared away, and the Venice Road crossing was still closed.

Rudy Husband, Norfolk Southern Corporation spokesman, said the derailment was not disrupting any other train traffic.

He said the cause of the derailment was still being investigated.

The train was running from Bethlehem, Pa., to Chicago.