Cleanup continues at railyard after fiery collision in Hendricks County: ‘It was terrifying’

HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. – A three-train crash sparked a large fire in Hendricks County Wednesday evening at the Avon CSX railyard. The large plumes of black smoke could be seen for miles.

The Avon Fire Department says two locomotives in transit struck a stationary locomotive near 500 South Dan Jones Road, causing a fire to start. Fire officials believe the crash caused fuel tanks to rupture, which started the blaze.

A CSX spokesperson says the locomotives spilled an unknown amount of diesel fuel. Thankfully no one was hurt, there was no safety risk to the public and no waterways were impacted, according to CSX.

“CSX appreciates the swift response of the local fire department and are working to develop a recovery plan,” said Sheriee Bowman, with CSX Transportation Media Relations.

Hazmat crews were called to the scene because of the fuel spill, but officials don’t believe there was every any threat. Fire Chief Dan Smith of the Washington Township, Avon Fire Department was on scene until around 2:30 a.m.

“If you want to say, it couldn’t have happened better, it couldn’t have happened better. It was all contained, and the fire was put out fairly quickly,” said Smith. “Our primary concern initially is getting the product vacuumed up and taken care of and then they have to ascertain the exact amount of remediation their going to have to do in the yard.”

The look of the aftermath was quite frightening.

“We all ran home we all were making sure everything was safe,” said Jackson Brown, a resident who lives nearby the railyard, “Everything was crazy because you don’t think about something like that happening.”

CSX thanks the quick response of the local fire departments who are now helping to develop a recovery plan. Chief Smith says that teamwork is critical.

Back in 2017 we spoke with workers at this railyard who claimed possible job cuts, could lead to dangers on the tracks. When asked about this, CSX responded with a statement.

“CSX is proud to be an industry leader in safety and the safety of our employees, infrastructure and communities in which we operate is our highest priority. The company is adequately staffed to ensure the safe and efficient operation of our network.”

Cleanup is expected to take a few days. The Fire Chief wants to stress again, there are no public safety concerns at this time.

The Indianapolis Fire Department, Wayne Township Fire Department, Plainfield Fire Department, and the airport's fire department all assisted.

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