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Freight Train Derails, Blocks Orange County Roadway

NEWBURGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A CSX freight train derailed in an industrial area of Newburgh Tuesday afternoon.

The Orange County Office of Emergency Management says the train hit a hi-lo boom lift operated by a steel company on the tracks, causing the locomotive and several train cars to derail and roar across River Road. The wreckage stopped just shy of the Global Diesel fuel terminal building.

As WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reported, the train was carrying sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide. But CSX reported those tankers did not leak.

"The train's hauling a variety of substances," Brendan Casey from the county OEM said, "some of which are hazardous, they are hauling some tankers with sulfuric acid."

Luckily the only fluid leak was a diesel fuel spill from the locomotives.

The railroad indicated that the train was headed from upstate New York to Georgia.

Nick Satera owns a pizza shop nearby.

"And you could just see the rear end of the train is off the tracks, and someone showed us a video of the front of it and it's in the middle of the road, the train," he said.

Satera said the scene is right along the Hudson River, but there are a few homes nearby.

A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) says their office is in close contact with the FRA and local officials.

"Our thoughts are with those who were impacted by this derailment, and with the first responders currently on scene," spokesman Jason Kaplan said. "Senator Schumer will work closely with the FRA and other federal safety organizations to quickly get to the bottom of what cause this dangerous accident."

In a statement issued Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) said he was getting "sick and tired of issuing statements about dangerous train derailments -- this time only blocks from my office in Newburgh."

"I'm glad to hear reports that no one was killed but even one injury is too many," the statement continued. "It's got to stop."

Maloney called trains carrying hazardous materials "literally a train wreck waiting to happen."

"We have to get smarter about how we transport crude oil, and invest in installing positive train control (PTC) on all our trains," he continued. "The longer we fail to prioritize investing in rail safety infrastructure and technology, the more innocent lives we put in jeopardy."

Maloney is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

A long stretch of River Road remains closed with the last few damaged cars almost a quarter mile back from the lead locomotive. The road is expected to remain closed for at least two days for cleanup. Commuters will not be impacted since rail passengers travel on the other side of the Hudson.

Authorities say there are three minor injuries to members of the train crew, and investigators are currently looking into whether or not the railroad crossing signal was working properly.

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