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NTSB Provides New Insight Into The 2013 CSX Train Crash, Explosion In Rosedale

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Credit: NTSB

Credit: NTSB

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Derek Valcourt began working at WJZ in September 2002. His first major...
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ROSEDALE, Md. (WJZ)—The NTSB opens up hundreds of pages of documents detailing the train and truck collision in Rosedale one year ago that caused a fiery explosion and weeks of cleanup.

Derek Valcourt has the new insights into the crash.

The reports detail the massive efforts to clean up hazardous chemical spills that resulted from the crash but it also shows for the first time what the truck driver and train conductor told investigators.

New photos show the view from inside a CSX train as it approached the Rosedale crossing where it collided with a truck. The whole thing was captured by a nearby surveillance camera. One of the train cars carrying hazardous materials erupted into a fire and then an explosion. Several people were injured and the blast caused extensive damage to nearby homes and businesses.

“It shook all the house,” said one person.

Now for the first time, the NTSB has released many of their investigative documents in the case, including interviews with the driver of the Mac truck, John Alban, who told investigators that he was on his Bluetooth phone at the time of the crash.

“I did not hear no whistle,” he said. “I glanced to the right. I didn’t see anything. I started across the tracks and then out of the corner of my mirror, I heard a whistle and I noticed the train just before impact.”

But that contradicts the train’s conductor, who said, “We started…ringing the bell and blowing the horn from about the 20 second, 15 second distance that you’re required to do it.”

But Alban insisted, “I’m telling you…that horn was not blowed from the time I drove out that driveway til I crossed that crossing.”

An investigation found the truck driver did not stop at the crossing. Alban told investigators his view of the tracks were obstructed by overgrown vegetation, saying, “If you pulled up far enough in that truck to see down the track, you would be on the track.”

The NTSB has not released their final report on the crash but state investigators have already indicated the cause was truck driver error.

CSX has filed a civil suit against Alban Waste, the company owned by the truck driver. They have released the following statement:

“Safety is a core value at CSX, and we are committed to preventing injuries and accidents in every aspect of our operation. There have been two collisions at the Rosedale crossing in the past 15 months. On both occasions, CSX crews acted responsibly while the truck drivers failed to stop, look and listen for a train at an active railroad crossing. CSX believes that the crossing is safe when a driver follows Maryland law by stopping and yielding to oncoming trains. In an effort to make that crossing even safer, CSX has installed new signage and improved visibility.

“CSX continually reviews and enhances safety processes through training, technology and investments. In addition, for many years, we have conducted broad efforts to raise awareness about the potential dangers of rail crossings, and is committed to doing so into the future.”

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