ARCADIA - Train cars headed from Chicago to North Carolina derailed and caught fire northwest of Arcadia early Sunday morning.
Capt. Jim Breyman of Washington Township Fire Department said an eastbound train carrying ethanol on a Norfolk Southern line derailed about 2 miles west of Arcadia shortly after 2 a.m. The massive fire rose thousands of feet in the air, he said.
"There's no way to fight anything that big," he said.
Rudy Husband, director of public relations for Norfolk Southern, said the train had 62 cars, of which 31 derailed and 10 caught fire. A lot of the cars were blown apart, Breyman said.
Husband said the cause of the derailment is under investigation.
Breyman estimated it would take a week before the tracks would be repaired and reopened. Officials rerouted train traffic due to the closed tracks.
PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE
Steve Switzer (left) and Bill Davis, American Red Cross volunteers, fold up a cot at a shelter at Arcadia United Methodist Church Sunday after the train derailment.
No one was injured in the Hancock County accident. Heat from the fire could be felt in the village, Breyman said. The fire was seen about 50 miles away in Bellevue.
Sunday night, Husband said there were no explosions. Earlier Sunday, officials said explosions shook houses and rattled windows.
"It was like daylight in the village," Breyman said.
Washington Township Fire Department received assistance from Allen Township, Bloomdale, Fostoria, McComb, Shawnee and Vanlue fire departments, Hanco and MedCorp EMS, Fostoria Police Department, ProMedica, State Highway Patrol, Hancock County Sheriff's Office, Hancock County Emergency Management Agency, Norfolk Southern and EPA.
"It's like rolling up to a movie scene where everything is blowing up," Breyman said about arriving at the scene.
Breyman said EPA was concerned about air and water contamination, and officials were containing ethanol that had leaked into local field tiles.