One person has been killed and more than a dozen train cars were derailed after an oncoming train collided with an 18-wheeler truck in southeastern Texas. The incident is one of two similar accidents that occurred on February 13, with the other incident happening in Enoree, South Carolina, where three train cars came off the tracks.
The collision occurred in the early morning of February 13 in Splendora, Texas. According to the East Montgomery County Fire Department, the 18-wheeler truck was hit by the oncoming train, causing the train to derail and leaving a portion of the tracks destroyed. Local authorities do not know the cause of the collision. However, they have identified the victim as Michael Floran, a 57-year-old man.
“When the train impacted the cab, it dragged the trailer, cab, and everything down the tracks for about a half mile,” said Splendora Police Chief Wally Wieghat. “The 18-wheeler was totally destroyed. It’s just pieces of it scattered up and down the railroad track.”
At least 21 cars operated by Union Pacific were derailed in the incident, and some of these cars were carrying household chemicals. As a result, a hazardous materials team has been called in to ensure there is no threat to emergency workers, according to police spokesman James Teller.
Footage of the scene was captured by local media, showing a pile-up of railcars as well as a fleet of police vehicles and fire trucks. The accident in Splendora, Texas, comes just days after a hazardous chemical-carrying train derailed in the town of East Palestine, Ohio, on February 3. The incident caused hundreds of people to evacuate the area for several days as cleanup crews worked to decontaminate the site. Environmental officials have said they could not detect any toxic substances in the area as of February 13.
In Enoree, South Carolina, at least three train cars came off the tracks on February 13. However, there were no reported injuries or leaks. According to a reporter with a local NBC affiliate, all the cars remained upright, with “no leaks or spills of any kind.” Workers from CSX rail are on the scene to inspect the railcars.