CHICAGO – A freight train struck the rear of another freight train in southwest Chicago early Sunday, derailing several rail cars and damaging a third freight train on an adjacent track, authorities said. Local reports said power was briefly knocked out to more than 2,500 people in the neighborhood.
There were no immediate reports of any injuries following the derailment shortly before 2 a.m. CDT Sunday, CSX rail spokesman Bob Sullivan told The Associated Press.
Eight full-sized cars went off the tracks, and one slid down an embankment into a backyard, a Chicago fire official and media affairs director, Larry Langford, told The Chicago Sun-Times.
At least one of the trains was carrying liquid waste, Langford told the newspaper. The report said emergency crews initially called for a hazardous materials response as a precaution, but no hazardous materials were detected and no leaks discovered.
Sullivan said one train headed from Nashville, Tenn., to Chicago had two locomotives and 13 freight cars; another from Albany, N.Y., to Chicago had four locomotives and 93 freight cars, and a third on a route from Flint, Mich., to Chicago had two locomotives and 130 freight cars.
But he said he had no specifics on which train hit the other and which was on the adjacent track. He said rail officials were at the site investigating and he had no immediate information on any cargo aboard the trains.
"CSX is working with local first responders gathering additional information," he told AP, adding the derailment remains under investigation.
He added that the primary focus remained on public safety.
Local media reported several city blocks on Chicago's southwest side lost power for a time early Sunday when a utility pole was damaged by the derailment.
Utility provider ComEd did not immediately return calls from AP seeking further details. Its online map of power outages indicated all but a handful of customers in the area had power restored before 8 a.m.
Information from: WBBM-AM, http://www.wbbm780.com