WILLIAMS COUNTY, Ohio (WANE) A train derailed during Wednesday's afternoon storms in Williams County, Ohio.
A Norfolk Southern train derailed about a half mile west of Melbern, which is about three miles west of Bryan. The derailment appears to have been caused by high winds, according to the William's County Emergency Manager.
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"We heard it, it was just like a dead boom," Rodney Bower, who lives in Melbern, said. "We came down and started looking around and saw train cars tipped over, and wheels snapped off, thrown hundreds of yards probably."
Bower and other residents estimated winds were traveling around 60 miles-per-hour when the train derailed.
A Norfolk Southern spoke person said about 10 cars carrying 15-20 containers were knocked off the rails between 1:30 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. The train was coming from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and going to St. Louis.
A Norfolk Southern spokesperson said the rail company is investigating the derailment.
"We had some heavy straight winds," Williams County Sheriff Thomas Towns said. "It's hard to say how hard. This cargo wasn't what I would consider to be heavy cargo in the containers, but we're still talking about a significant wind to blow them off the tracks."
The two Norfolk Southern employees on the train were not injured in the incident.
The intersection the train was blocking due to the incident was cleared around 5 p.m.
Sheriff Towns said it would take one to two days to clean up the railroad. He added that derailment crews were expected to begin cleaning up around 6 Wednesday night. The sheriff's department will help provide rail workers with security while they clean during the night.
Multiple trees and power lines were also reported to be down in the area. Several homes also appeared to be damaged.
Wade Ward's roof was pierced by two threes. A third tree in his yard also fell down, knocking over a power line. He wasn't home when it happened.
"The first thing you think of course was just, is my daughter alright, is my wife alright," Ward said. "If the roof needs fixed, then the roof needs fixed."
Ward said the tree damaged his home above his garage. He planned to use a chainsaw Wednesday night to begin taking the tree down.
Sheriff Towns said many trees and power lines were reported to be down and some roads had flooding.
"We're not having any reports of injuries at this time, which is a good thing," Towns said. "Hopefully, there won't be any other significant damage."
A hazmat team was sent to the scene of the derailment as a precaution; no hazardous materials were found.
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