ROSEDALE, Md. (WJZ)–A tractor trailer and a CSX cargo train collided Tuesday afternoon, derailing the train and rocking the Baltimore region with a huge explosion.
Adam May reports 15 cars were derailed and two were set ablaze.
It happened just after 2 p.m. in the 7500-block of Lake Drive in Rosedale. The explosion could be heard and felt throughout Baltimore County and even in the city.
Local officials are calling this a regional event with cooperation from BWI-Marshall airport, Baltimore City and Martin State airport. Some 60 fire and police units were assessing the scene.
The tractor trailer driver involved in the collision has been transported to Shock Trauma and is listed in serious but stable condition. No other injuries have been reported.
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamanetz says CSX confirms that there are no toxic inhalants involved in the accident.
Fire officials say the weather is proving positive for this accident, as the wind is pushing the smoke off and it is rising and dissipating quickly.
However, residents in the Pulaski/Moravia area are advised to shelter in place, as fire units are using water to put out the smoking blaze and want to ensure the safety of all resident.
Due to the derailment, traffic in Baltimore City is being detoured off of Pulaski Highway between Moravia Road and Chesaco Avenue. Other primary roadways in the area, including Philadelphia Road and I-95, are also affected by the incident.
Route 40 in the area is closed in the area in both directions.
Motorists are strongly encouraged to use alternate routes Tuesday afternoon and avoid these areas if possible. Drivers are also advised to allow additional travel time and to listen to local traffic reports for updates on this incident.
WJZ spoke to someone who was inside a print shop when the train derailed.
Customers initially thought a bomb went off. The ceiling tiles and the light fixtures inside the shop fell and the windows blew out. At least 100 people in that nearby print shop felt the blast and were evacuated.
The shop is just one of many businesses in the industrial area that runs right along the train tracks where the accident happened.
Two employees at Baltimore Windustrial say their boss told them to get out of the building as soon as the accident happened. They say when they rushed outside the heat felt like “opening an oven door.”
The employees rushed to their car and were leaving the site as the train exploded.
A neighbor who lives just around the corner from the epicenter says she was working when she heard the loud explosion.
“Boom! And that rocked the house,” she said. “I went out back and didn’t see anything. I thought something had fallen into the house or onto 95. Nothing. And a neighbor called and asked if I heard it. That’s when we turned the news on and saw that it was the train that had derailed.
“The whole house shook. The glass doors all shook. I shook,” she said. “It was a jolt like the earthquake we felt. We kind thought it was something like that.”
A WJZ viewer says he was about a quarter of a mile away at his friend’s house when the explosion happened.
“We went outside of his house, which is right on the top of Route 40 at Philadelphia Road. We were watching the fire, and then all of a sudden the explosion happened and actually knocked me off my feet. The window broke out in his house. You could feel the heat on our faces. I never seen anything like it,” he said.
He says he smells gas but doesn’t smell any chemicals in the air.
A large tower of smoke can be seen from miles away.
Stay with WJZ and CBSBaltimore.com for more on this developing story.