VIVIAN — Upwards of 20 train cars derailed in Vivian, with several of them being hazardous material carriers, on Saturday.

Once derailed, the westbound train cars toppled onto their side with several of them falling into Elkhorn Creek.

Train derail 1

Staff photo by Eric DiNovo

Two unidentified Norfolk Southern employees assess damages after a train derails near Vivian in McDowell County Saturday evening.

“About 20 cars have derailed,” Kimball Fire Chief, Jimmy Gianato, said, “Some are hazardous material cars that are empty.”

As there were no injuries, and there is no risk for public safety, the issues of the derailment are, “From here on out, it’s the railroad’s responsibility,” according to Gianato.

Derails 2

Though the hazardous material train cars are empty, they will be, “Continually monitored,” due to the possibility of, “A seal start to leak,” in later hours, according to Gianato.

After Kimball Fire Department assessed the derailment, it was determined where the derailment happened and that there were no injuries. Norfolk Southern employees were on the scene assessing the derailment.

Also responding to the scene was Jan Care Ambulance Services and the Railroad Police.

According to Gianato, five of the rail cars are in the riverway, with the rest on their sides next to the tracks. He also stated that of the hazardous material cars, one of them is a sulphuric acid are.

“There’s no hazmat involved and no fish kill in the river, so all of this is for the railroad to handle,” Gianato said.

Norfolk Southern could not be reached for comment.

Contact Emily D. Coppola at