Train Derailment Spills 500 Tons Of Coal In Dunnellon
DUNNELLON - It wasn't exactly "the wreck of the old 97" but a freight train derailed near Dunnellon today, spilling tons of coal that will take all weekend to clean up. The train was traveling southbound, headed for Duke Energy's Crystal River Facility. At the moment it is not considered an environmental hazard. Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the derailment.
It looks like a scene out of a movie-- A train with 100 cars carrying tons of coal derailed earlier this morning, nine of the 11 cars that derailed turned over. Now these workers are trying to get the coal spill cleaned up.
"I've never seen anything like this," said one resident. Nope, this was not Santa Claus' delayed shipment to all bad boys and girls of North Central Florida. "It's pretty spectacular," said another.
A coal train of 100 cars headed south bound to Duke Energy Crystal River, derailed along Highway 41 on the Florida Northern Railroad, which is run by the Pinsly Railroad Company. Matt Schwerin the assistant general manager of Pinsly says the coal is contained and therefore not an environmental hazard.
Jessica Greene the Marion County Fire Rescue, spokesperson said, "It was determined there were no injuries and no significant fire which again, we're every thankful in this situation because with those cars having coal in them it could have been a very significant incident."
Bill Brumby the owner of Brumby Welding in Dunnellon said, "I came up here to see if we could offer any services, what they might need. They haven't made up their minds yet so we don't know. We’re just kind of waiting."
David Mosely the owner of CDM Arms Custom Gunsmithing said this train wreck woke him up. "You think of the size of the train and the weight and all the energy involved in it... It's good though nobody was hurt," Mosely said.
While others took advantage of the moment to capture "the perfect" shot. "And I am in a camera club and our camera competition this coming month is train, planes and automobiles and I thought well, I'll never get a picture of a train... And I thought wow I gotta get home and get my camera," Linda Williams a Citrus County Resident said.
A Duke Energy spokesperson tells us customers power bills won't be affected by the spill-- as they order the coal in advance. And the mess? Well that's expected to cleaned up by Monday morning.
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