A CSX freight train derailed on a bridge above the Anacostia River on Friday, November 9 and 10 of the 90 rail cars fell into the water. There were no injuries due to the accident.
The train was parked with no passengers or crew aboard when another freight train ran into it. The Fire Department stated that the cause was unknown and that the National Transportation Safety Board would be investigating the incident.
Several fireboats and other emergency vehicles responded, including some engine companies with hazardous materials units that came to the scene as a precaution. The crash dumped coal into the river, along with hydraulic fluid and oil from the train cars, District of Columbia Fire Department spokesman Alan Etter said.
The water in the river seems to have a oily sheen to it which could mean some petroleum products made it into the river, but pH tests so far have been neutral. Structural engineers are checking the bridge for damage and want the rest of the rail cars moved; they believe there has been some structural damage to the bridge.
For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Airlines, Cruises, Buses, and Other Mass Transit Accidents.