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Train derailment leaves cars on riverbank or in water; no injuries, hazardous materials reported


BETHLEHEM: Authorities say a train derailment in eastern Pennsylvania has left some railroad cars along a riverbank Saturday morning and at least one partially in the river itself.
Dispatchers in Northampton County said the derailment was reported at 7:14 a.m. in Lower Saucon Township. Authorities said it was unclear how many cars were involved but no injuries or hazardous materials were reported.
The Nancy Run Fire Company posted pictures showing a number of railroad cars scattered along the riverbank and at least one partially in the water.
Norfolk Southern said in a statement there was no threat to the public, no injuries to crew members and “no hazardous material concerns from the railcars.”
Norfolk Southern said a small diesel fuel leak – which the company said was “common when locomotives are involved” – had been contained with booms and would be “vacuumed out.” Plastic pellets spilled from one car, predominantly onto the ground, and that would also be cleaned up, the company said.
The company declined further comment, citing an investigation to be launched by the National Transportation Safety Board, on such details as how many cars were on the train and how many derailed, where the train came from and where it was headed and what kind of cargo was being transported.
Gary Weiland, who lives across the river in Bethlehem Township, told The (Allentown) Morning Call he initially heard what sounded like a crash, then a period of quiet followed by the sound of another crash.
“As the second one was happening, I went upstairs and looked out the window and saw a splash. I said to my wife, ‘I think a train derailed.'” Weiland said.
There was no immediate word on the derailment’s cause.
Norfolk Southern praised “the quick, professional response by local emergency agencies.”

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