Photos, update: Derailed freight cars spill from downtown rail bridge into Wabash
‘That’s not good:’ Investigation, cleanup continue into Wednesday night, after afternoon derailment
Thanks to sponsor Stuart & Branigin for support to help make this edition of the Based in Lafayette reporting project possible.
A pair of cranes worked deep into the evening Wednesday, trying to drag derailed freight cars filled with metal material from the Wabash River, after they spilled off a downtown Lafayette rail bridge.
No one was injured, Lafayette police and Norfolk Southern officials said, at least two rail cars went off the black, metal bridge over the Wabash a little after 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Connor Spielmaker, a Norfolk Southern spokesman, said the cars were hauling an Norfolk Southern load. He said no hazardous materials wound up in the Wabash.
Spielmaker said Norfolk Southern crews were on the scene Wednesday afternoon. He said the cause of the derailment wasn’t immediately known.
Spielmaker said more definitive word about the cause and other details would likely come Thursday morning.
Wednesday night, after engines decoupled from the remaining cars and headed south, crews brought in two cranes that attempted to bring the derailed cars up the bank.
Crowds gathered all afternoon and well after dark on the southern span of the downtown Lafayette bridges, leaning over the railing to get a better view of the twisted tracks and railroad ties pulled together like a squeezed accordion.
Photographer Bob Young, who hosts the Aerial Lafayette site on Facebook, shared these images, taken via a drone, with Based in Lafayette.
“That’s not good,” Justin Carlson said, after parking his car on Second Street and hiking up the bridge sidewalk to get a look.
“A buddy of mine called and said I need to get over here if I wanted to see something I wasn’t going to see again,” Carlson said. “He was right. Damn. … That’s not going to be an easy clean-up.”
Thanks, again, to sponsor Stuart & Branigin for helping make this edition of the Based in Lafayette reporting project happen.
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