Diesel fuel spills when trains collide head-on in Marion County

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CITRA, Fla. (WESH) –Two people were treated for minor injuries at the scene of a two-train collision in Marion County early Wednesday morning.

The crash happened at the intersection of Northeast 175th Street (Pine Church Road) and Northeast 23rd Terrace in the town of Citra around 4:15 a.m.

Two operators were on each train. One crew suffered minor injuries, but another crew was uninjured.

“It’s very fortunate that this is a very rural area and that no one else was affected, meaning other homes or bystanders,” said Lt. Ryan Robbins of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

Fire Rescue officials said the collision triggered a diesel fuel spill, with thousands of gallons involved.

“There (are) no immediate concerns for public safety in regards to (the) hazmat spill, but clearly there (are) going to be issues that they’ll be working on,” Robbins said.

Deputies closed roads after the crash, as train cars blocked the tracks. They said there was no telling how long it could take to clean up the mess.

“The area seems to be contained,” Robbins said. “Again, we’re allowing for hazmat crews to come in. Fire rescue is on the scene. The sheriff’s office will be directing traffic, and we’ll be allowing CSX to do their portion of this investigation.”

CSX Corp. owns both trains. The company is handling the investigation, but the cause of the collision is not yet known.

CSX says the phosphate train was traveling from Mulberry to Chicago with three locomotives and 100 loaded cars. The coal train was traveling from Pembroke, Kentucky to Tampa with 110 loaded cars.

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