Nappanee train derailment that injured 2 may have been due to weather


A freight train that derailed in northern Indiana, injuring two crew members and leaving a trail of damage, occurred after a wave of severe thunderstorms had swept the area, CSX said Thursday.

About 30 loaded cars and two locomotives derailed late Wednesday on the Chicago-bound train, WSBT-TV in South Bend reported. Police said damage from the derailment extended about 1/4 mile, and that none of the cars was carrying hazardous materials.

Two crew members were injured and treated at hospitals. CSX said neither employee suffered life threatening injuries when the westbound train derailed just before midnight near Nappanee, about 25 miles southeast of South Bend.

While the derailment’s cause remains under investigation, CSX said Thursday in a statement “it appears that severe weather may have been a factor” in the derailment.

National Weather Service meteorologist Geoffrey Heidelberger said a severe thunderstorm swept through the area about two hours before the derailment and radar had also detected high winds aloft there within an hour of the derailment.

He said that wave of storms had toppled trees and power lines throughout the region.

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