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Firefighters Battle Train Fire In McKeesport

MCKEESPORT (KDKA) - Firefighters had to deal with some tricky conditions to battle a train fire in McKeesport Tuesday morning.

According to officials at the scene, the incident happened around 2:15 a.m. in a rail yard under the Duquesne-McKeesport Bridge.

Initially, the train operator didn't know his load was on fire, but a passing train flagged him down. The operator stopped the train and isolated the problem to keep it from spreading.

The CSX train was passing through on its way from New Castle to Cumberland, when one of the train's engines caught on fire.

Train traffic was temporarily stopped so crews could stretch hoses across the tracks. They used foam to douse the flames.

(Photo Courtesy: KDKA Viewer)

The train was hauling ethanol, which could have made the situation even worse. However, CSX said they prepare for situations like this by placing buffer cars between engines and the cars hauling hazardous materials.

"It's still one of the safer modes of transportation for us, but we still have to be prepared," Alvin Henderson with Allegheny County Emergency Management said. "With the partnership we have with the industry, and also with that industry being active with our local emergency planning committee, it allows us to be properly prepared to respond to those emergencies should they occur."

No one was injured, but the engine suffered significant damage.

The rest of train eventually continued on its route.


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