Train derails after striking truck in Tennessee; 2 injured

COLLEGEDALE, Tenn. (AP) — Two train employees were injured in Tennessee when a train hit a semi-truck that was sitting on the tracks waiting for a traffic light to change, causing three locomotives and 10 railroad cars to derail.

The collision left “a disastrous mess” Tuesday in Collegedale, a suburb of Chattanooga, the Hamilton County Office of Emergency Management said in a statement. The freight train hit a truck carrying a 134-foot (41-meter) concrete truss bridge beam, the statement said.

Two Norfolk Southern Train employees were hospitalized with minor injuries, according to the office. News outlets report the truck driver wasn’t injured.

The truck was stopped on the railroad tracks waiting for the light to turn green, according to the Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department. Officials said when the crossing arms were activated the driver attempted to clear the tracks but was unsuccessful.

“Collegedale has dodged a huge bullet. That is a tragic accident that could have taken many lives,” Jim Hall, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, told WTVC-TV.

The crossing was blocked by the crash and an investigation is underway. Several agencies responded, including a team to clean up hazardous materials like leaking diesel fuel from the locomotives.

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