‘A loud, loud boom and windows rattled’: Neighbors react to train derailment east of Auburn

Local News

AUBURN, Ind. (WANE) — Crews continue to clean up wreckage after a train derailed just outside Auburn Wednesday morning.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department confirmed a CSX train derailed in the area of C.R. 25 and C.R. 46A, just southeast of Auburn.

CSX issued the following statement about the derailment:

At approximately 10:15 CT this morning, a CSX train derailed a number of cars carrying intermodal containers near Country Road 35 in Auburn, IN. There were no injuries to the crew. Preliminary reports indicate that there are no spills from the containers. CSX is working with De Kalb County first responders as we work to assess the situation and develop a recovery plan.

People living right by the site of the derailment said that different things drew their attention to the wreck.

“I seen a bunch of white smoke,” said Arthur Newcomer. “Sometimes I watch the trains when they go by, and when it cleared up then I saw this.”

Newcomer said he has never seen a derailment happen there before. On the other side of the tracks, Rose Moore echoed that, telling WANE 15 that she has not seen a derailment happen on the stretch since she first moved into her home in 1986. Moore heard the derailment before she saw the situation.

“I was just in my home a hundred yards away from the tracks here and I heard a loud loud boom,” said Moore. “Windows rattled and I thought oh that’s a little longer than normal so I looked out the window the train still moving so I didn’t think it was a real big deal.”

It was not until a neighbor knocked on her door that she realized what had happened. Twelve cars were toppled in the derailment, crushing trees and other brush in the process. Moore said she will likely have work to do once they clean up the wreckage because some of it spilled over onto her property.

“I do have a fence row there and it’ll probably have to be replaced,” said Moore. “Hopefully the railroad will step up and do that for me. My neighbor does the hayfield here and he’s gonna lose a little bit back there in that corner, but hopefully, he’ll be able to get most of it out.”

But, her son added that there are worse things than broken fences.

“Luckily nobody was hurt and no chemicals or anything were spilled so I mean it’s bad but could have been worse,” said Wengert.

It is not known what caused the train to derail. Several roads and railroad crossings were closed to allow crews to bring in equipment to haul the toppled cars away.

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