ROSEDALE, Md. (WJZ) — Finally, there are some answers in the CSX train derailment and explosion that shook Rosedale last month. The NTSB reveals the crossing where the train collided with a truck gave almost no warning for drivers; the stop signs were barely visible.
Kai Jackson has the new findings.
The investigation by the NTSB raises questions about the safety of train crossings and how often they receive maintenance.
A rollback truck and train collided in Rosedale on May 28, causing a derailment and thunderous explosion felt miles away.
Now the National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report and it appears several factors contributed to the accident. The NTSB says the stop signs at the rail crossing were faded; one was hung upside down and facing away from the road.
“We will be looking at how long those signs may have been in a state of disrepair. We’ll be looking at that,” said NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt.
The report also says the highway grade crossing had no active warning lights or crossing gates.
After the collision, the train derailed and a fire started, which led to a huge explosion. Four of the cars involved contained the hazardous chemical sodium chlorate.
“People was panicking. `What was that?’ It was very, very loud; it shook all the houses,” said one witness.
The driver of the truck, 50-year-old John Alban, Jr. didn’t stop at the crossing, according to the report.
“Nevertheless, the driver had come in and out of the area many times a day and certainly it was known to him that there was a railroad crossing there,” Sumwalt said.
He was hurt, taken to the hospital and later released.
A responding police officer and three people working at a nearby building were also hurt.
The NTSB says part of the continuing investigation includes examining the mechanical function of the truck that was hit by the train.