A train derailed near the Ohio-Pennsylvania state line Friday, resulting in a massive fire and evacuation orders.
A train shipping cargo from Madison, Illinois, to Conway, Pennsylvania, had approximately 50 cars derail in East Palestine, Ohio.
An evacuation was ordered for residents within a mile of the blaze. A local high school provided shelter for firefighters who continued to combat the blaze. No injuries or fatalities have been reported.
The derailed cars caused an explosion, and fire officials warn locals that further explosions could occur as they sought to extinguish the blaze completely.
The fire site is currently being worked by fire companies from three states, and hazmat crews have responded to assess the hazard of burning materials.
Freezing temperatures have complicated the effort, with some trucks unable to pump water due to iced equipment.
How many train derailments in the U.S. each year?
While fatalities from train derailments are rare, derailments themselves are quite common. From 1990, the first year the BTS began tracking derailments and injuries on a yearly basis, to 2021, there have been 54,539 accidents in which a train derailed. That’s an average of 1,704 derailments per year.