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A train on the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad line derailed in East Aurora, N.Y., late at night on April 18, and residents in 41 homes had to be evacuated as police and emergency responders canvassed the scene.
No one was hurt, but 15 cars and three locomotives were knocked off the tracks. The derailment happened in the area of Main Street and Riley Street. About 1,000 gal of diesel leaked from the locomotives, but no other hazardous material spilled.
Investigators do not believe speed was a factor since trains usually go about 25 mph through residential areas. There could have been an issue with the track or an old switch.
It could take up to four days to remove the engines and clean up the scene.
Congressman Brian Higgins wants the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to conduct a thorough investigation and wants the results to be made public.
Higgins wrote to FRA Administrator Ron Batory, saying, “Residents who live in proximity to America’s freight railroads have the right to expect an appropriate level of federal oversight to ensure that the requisite capital investments are being made and that safety protocols are being observed. Transparency here will be key, as residents have a right to know what went wrong … why a neighborhood was forced to evacuate, and what corrective steps are being taken to prevent an occurrence like this from happening in the future.”
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