A retired Baltimore fireman who was driving a waste collection truck suffered serious injuries when his vehicle was hit by a freight train. The train then swerved off the railroad tracks. The accident took place in the Baltimore suburb of Rosedale. After the motor vehicle accident, black smoke that was visible from a distance arose from an explosion resulting from the collision.
The truck driver was rushed to a nearby hospital by emergency responders. His condition was described as serious. No one else involved in the accident had any serious injuries.
There were two railroad workers aboard the locomotive of the train, which was pulling 45 cars, two of which contained chemicals utilized in the manufacturing of plastic. Those two cars were on fire after the accident. It was reported that another car on the train was loaded with the hazardous chemical sodium chlorate. Another car was believed to have possibly contained flurosilicic acid, also classified as a hazardous material, although only “traces” of it were said to be present.
Officials told residents of approximately 70 residences in the area that it would be prudent for them to leave their homes for a while after the crash. Transportation was provided for them to local shelters. A Fire Department official emphasized that any residents who left their homes did so voluntarily and that there was no forced evacuation ordered by authorities.
Firefighters worked hard to bring the fire quickly under control, spraying both foam and water on the flames. The cause of the accident was not clear, and the investigation is continuing. The injured truck driver might have a viable personal injury claim against the railroad and the train’s engineer, or the fault for the accident might be the result of a bad road design or other factors. After such an accident, injured parties might want to consult an experienced personal injury attorney to make sure that their medical bills get paid, and that they receive compensation for lost wages as well as pain and suffering.