On Tuesday afternoon, a train in Tennessee smashed through a semi-truck that was carrying a concrete beam, causing the train to derail and injure two train employees in a “disastrous mess.” The horrifying event was caught on video.
The truck involved in the crash was hauling a massive 134-foot concrete truss bridge beam when it got caught on some train tracks in Collegedale. According to the Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department, the truck, which had been waiting at a red light, tried to get off the tracks when the railroad crossing arms were activated.
As the Norfolk Southern freight train rapidly approached, the truck driver was unable to clear the tracks in time, leading to a major collision that destroyed both the trailer and the train, and caused three locomotives and 10 railroad cars to derail.
Fortunately, the truck driver was not injured, but two Norfolk Southern Train employees were hospitalized with minor injuries.
Video was captured of the horrific scene as the semi-truck tried to get off the railroad tracks and the freight train came barrelling into the concrete beam. Footage of the major crash has since gone viral.
A train collided with the truck carrying a 130-foot truss concrete beam in Collegedale, Tennessee, resulting in 13 train cars derailing and minor injuries, officials said. pic.twitter.com/yc6G9PUsrW
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 21, 2022
A train has derailed in Chattanooga, Tennessee after a semi got stuck on the tracks. pic.twitter.com/H5EoDZONfa
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) December 20, 2022
The Chattanooga Fire Department has been posting updates regarding the incident on Twitter, as well as many photographs of the scene of the crash.
In one post detailing a diesel and oil leak, the department wrote, “Personnel are trying to stop a diesel and lube oil leak from two of the locomotives. No other hazardous materials are involved at this time.”
Several agencies are working at the crash site, including the HazMat team who is working to clean up all hazardous materials including the leaking diesel fuel.
Personnel are trying to stop a diesel and lube oil leak from two of the locomotives. No other hazardous materials are involved at this time. A number of different agencies are working this incident. Photos from BC2 Schroyer. pic.twitter.com/QEjeImSq0o
— Chattanooga Fire Department (@ChattFireDept) December 20, 2022
Hamilton County officials called the crash site a “disastrous mess,” but many are grateful because the outcome of such an accident could have been much worse.
Jim Hall, the former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said, “Collegedale has dodged a huge bullet. This is a tragic accident that could have taken many lives.”
It is currently unknown how long the cleanup process will take, and the surrounding roads will likely be closed for a lengthy period of time.