Derailed locomotive leaks 1,800 gallons of fuel in Taunton

The lead locomotive of a freight train derails in Taunton, Dec. 13, 2017. (WJAR)

The lead locomotive of a freight train derailed Wednesday morning in Taunton and was leaking fuel.

The CSX locomotive derailed at about 7:45 a.m. on some tracks in the woods near Mazzone Boulevard.

"The only people aboard the train were the crew members and there were no reported injuries," Fire Chief Timothy J. Bradshaw said, adding that the train was hauling a variety of cargo.

Bradshaw said the fuel tank ruptured and leaked about 1,800 gallons of diesel fuel on the tracks and nearby wetlands.

Officials said they were not concerned about the fuel igniting because of the cold weather.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection was leading the cleanup effort and removing as much of the contaminated soil as possible.

"Now we have an area of contaminated soil that needs to be dealt with and if we don’t get it out, it’s probably going to kill vegetation and chances are it can migrate and we don’t know harm or effect that could have," Dan Crafton of D.E.P. said.

Crews were seen carrying supplies into the woods to clean up the spill.

"Those pads only absorb oil, they don’t absorb water, so they will absorb whatever oil they can," Crafton said. "But for the most part, it will be cleaned up by excavation."

A CSX crew was coming from Albany to get the locomotive back on the tracks.

But authorities said the engine was still in the area as of 4 p.m., adding that it might still be there by for a few days.

"It appears the damage to the train was more substantial than initially thought,". Bradshaw said. "I've been told by those working down on the tracks, that removing the engine and repairing the tracks may not be done until tomorrow."

Bradshaw also noted that the track, which is only used for commercial purposes, will be shut down while repairs are made and the locomotive is moved.

The cause of the derailment wasn't immediately known and remains under investigation.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off