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Train derails in Lilburn after heavy rain, storms move through metro Atlanta

LILBURN, Ga. — Officials said a CSX train derailed in Gwinnett County early Sunday morning during heavy rain and storms produced by Hurricane Delta.

Firefighters said 38 rail cars went off the tracks on Main Street in Lilburn just before 2 a.m.. The crash sparked a fire involving potentially hazardous materials.

Two workers were able to escape the wreckage and were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

According to firefighters, the train had approximately 170 cars and three locomotive engines.

Gwinnett Fire said residents north of the incident which stretches on the train line from Main St. in Lilburn to the Harmony Grove Rd. were in the impacted area.

Firefighters told Channel 2′s Lauren Pozen that people who live on Jon Jeff Drive NW, Huntshire Lane and Bailey Drive in Lilburn near the scene were asked to leave their homes when crews arrived around 2 a.m

The evacuation order was lifted around 5:30 a.m. and residents were able to return to their homes.

Pozen spoke to a neighbor, Ted Hendricks, who said they got woken up in the middle of the night by a phone call.

“This morning, our home phone line rang at 3:30,” Hendricks said. “It was a reverse 911 call. It gave us instructions there was a derailment, there was a fire, and we should evacuate.”

Hendricks said that waking up to an explosion is something he and his neighbors won’t soon forget.


CSX released a statement about the incident:

“At around 1:45am this morning a CSX train derailed a number of rail cars including two locomotives in Lilburn, GA. Preliminary information indicates that the derailment was caused by a track washout from intense rain and flash flooding conditions in the area. The two crew members were transported to a local hospital for observation. CSX appreciates the swift response of local first responders. The safety of the community and our crews is our top priority as we work to secure the site and develop a recovery plan.”

Firefighters are still on the scene as CSX officials work on cleaning up.

The Greenway trail between Main Street and Harmony Grove will be closed for at least the next three days.

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