Rolling Oil Bomb Cars Derail in Philadelphia, Luckily No Injuries

For the second time in a year, a rolling bomb car carrying crude oil derailed in Philadelphia.  Earlier today, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported:

The incident took place around 3 a.m. inside a CSX Corp. rail yard near 11th Street and Pattison Avenue, CSX spokesman Rob Doolittle said.

A three-locomotive, 111-car CSX freight train was traveling from Chicago to the Philadelphia area when 11 tank cars containing crude oil came off the tracks, he said. The cars remained upright.

Fire department hazmat crews responded to the scene “out of an abundance of caution” and left without taking any action, Doolittle said.

No chemical leaks were detected, and no injuries reported, according to both CSX and the Philadelphia Fire Department.

Before that the latest incident occurred just over a year ago:

It was one of several trains that bring tens of thousands of barrels of crude oil from North Dakota to a refinery in South Philadelphia every week.

The cause of the derailment is still being investigated, but Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says for now, the city is safe.

“For us at least, derailments are fairly uncommon, but I’m sure there’s always something that we can take a look at or focus on,” Nutter said. “You can never be too cautious or too careful, so we’ll see what comes out of this investigation.”

Philadelphia has dodged two bullets in a time when rolling oil bombs have gone sky high.  Last spring, Rachel Maddow ran a story showing how little regulations have changed for rolling bomb cars, and we can all remember what happened in Quebec a couple of years ago when an oil train blew up and killed 47 people.

Will the third time be a charm for Philadelphians?


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About Sean Kitchen 681 Articles
Contributor and Assistant Editor for the Raging Chicken Press. Stationed in Harrisburg covering politics in the capitol. You can send tips to or reach me on twitter at @RCPress_Sean!
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