Massive train derailment in Opelika leaves 22 cars in ditch - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Massive train derailment in Opelika leaves 22 cars in ditch

(Source: Mike Hilyer) (Source: Mike Hilyer)
(Source: Mike Hilyer) (Source: Mike Hilyer)
(Source: Tawanda Kelly) (Source: Tawanda Kelly)
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OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - Witnesses are calling it a miracle on the tracks as a Norfolk Southern train conductor and engineer both survive a horrific train derailment in Opelika with no injuries.

The derailment happened about 150 yards east of the Royal City Crossing near South Uniroyal Road.

The rain could be to blame in this massive train derailment around 8:20 a.m. on Friday.

A Norfolk Southern statement says the train was 100 cars long with thee engines. Incredibly, the front engine where the conductor and engineer were riding did not derail.

The train stayed on the tracks while the 22 cars behind it fell to the side in a massive heap of twisted metal. Thankfully, the cars were not carrying any hazardous materials.

"Right now, preliminary cause looks to be there is a bridge that washed out causing the tracks to wash out," said Opelika Police Captain Shane Healey.

Capt. Healey says the tracks are being evaluated at other locations, to make sure this will not happen again.

This massive cleanup continues throughout Friday night, and you can only image the type of equipment, manpower and time it takes to remove 22 train cars from a creek location.

This is going to take some time to clean up. Keep in mind the road will be blocked for at least a few days possibly weeks along South Uniroyal Road between Old Columbus Road and Chewacla Road. Avoid the area if you can.

Copyright 2016 WTVM. All rights reserved. 

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