Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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July 15, 2014

NS crews still working to clear large-scale train derailment in Wytheville

WYTHEVILLE, Va. — Faced with the task of clearing widespread wreckage, town officials and Norfolk Southern crews were back on the scene Tuesday of a large-scale train derailment in the town limits of Wytheville.

Despite initial fears of a hazardous material spill, emergency officials in Wythe County ruled Tuesday that the public had not been exposed to any hazardous materials as a result of the derailment. The train was hauling automobiles and storage containers that officials initially thought were filed with possible water contaminants.

The train consisted of 33 rail cars of which 14 derailed near the railroad line’s intersection with the Grayson Turnpike. The area, also known as Route 21, was still closed to traffic Tuesday.

Wytheville Police Chief Rick Arnold is urging the public to avoid travel in the area, according to Jeremy Farley, a public information officer for the town of Wytheville.

Clean-up continued at the site Tuesday, according to Norfolk Southern spokesman Robin Chapman.

“We have crews on site right now working to repair the track and we are in the process or have already moved the rail cars that didn’t derail out of the rail area,” Chapman said. “And the cause is still under investigation. There is no estimate at this time as to when the line will be opening.”

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