Train derails in Kentucky town

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 7:12 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE/Gray News) - A train derailed in downtown Glendale Thursday afternoon, according to Kentucky State Police.

Kentucky State Police said the train derailed around 2:50 p.m. after trying to avoid a semi truck that was on the tracks across the Gideon Church Road crossing.

As the train was stopping, it derailed in the process.

Twenty-one train cars carrying vehicles derailed in the incident. The rail cars were filled with Fords, Chevys, Buicks and more.

“They’re going to be nothing but scrap metal. Just going to the crusher,” Glendale business owner Larry Davis said.

A semi truck on the railroad tracks caused the engineer to hit the emergency brake. They avoided hitting the truck, but couldn’t stop the rail cars from derailing.

“We’re very fortunate that no loss of life and not significant property damages but the train,” Scotty Sharp with Kentucky State Police said.

One of the derailed cars hit an occupied vehicle, but their injuries are non-life threatening.

Another one hit an antique shop.

“The car is leaning up against that shed, and it’s a storage shed that she had,” Davis said. “It took out her storage shed, and whatever is in there is probably no good no more, but she’s OK.”

There were no hazardous materials on the train, and there’s no danger to the public.

This is the second train derailment in this spot in less than a year. The last one happened in July when a train crashed into a semi truck.

“That’s why we have a hard time believing it,” Davis said. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, not again.’”

Millie Baker owns the Glendale Antique Mall, which is right where the road and railroad tracks meet.

“I’ve always felt safe in my house, but when it happens a second time, it makes you wonder just a little bit,” Baker said.

Because of the two derailments, she said every time she hears a train, she’s going to be a little more on edge.

“I feel like the train comes way too quick through a residential area,” Baker said.

Baker said the derailment is going to stop foot traffic, which is going to affect her business.

“I probably won’t get to open tomorrow, and it hurt my business today because people couldn’t get across the track. They were over there eating, and we always count on them after they leave the restaurant,” she said.

She said Fridays and Saturdays are her best days, so it’s going to hurt a little bit.

It could take days to clean all of this up, so officials are asking people to avoid the area if they can.