Dramatic video captured the moment that a freight train slammed into a tractor-trailer that was stalled on a level crossing in the US state of Tennessee.
The Norfolk Southern train ploughed into the trailer, which was carrying a 134-foot concrete truss bridge beam, at around 1.30pm on Tuesday (December 20).
As it smashed into the lorry, the train derailed, with two employees from Norfolk Southern Trains reportedly hospitalised with minor injuries after the collision, while the truck driver escaped the incident unharmed.
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There was a massive emergency services response, which included a specialist team to clean up fuel leaking from the locomotive.
The collision left “a disastrous mess” the Hamilton County Office of Emergency Management said in a statement.
Jim Hall, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, told local news station WTVC-TV: “Collegedale has dodged a huge bullet. That is a tragic accident that could have taken many lives”.
A Norfolk Southern representative said: “Initial reports do no indicate any hazardous material cars involved.”
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Amy Maxwell, of county emergency preparedness, said: "This afternoon a Norfolk Southern train slammed into a tractor trailer carrying a 134-foot concrete truss beam in Collegedale. At 12:30 p.m., a motorist called 911 reporting a train derailment located at Apison Pike and University Drive.
"Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department and Collegedale Police Department responded to the scene and confirmed a large train derailment.
"Tri-Community VFD requested a mutual aid response for additional manpower and hazardous materials clean up efforts.
"Hamilton County HazMat team, Hamilton County Rescue and Chattanooga Fire Department responded to the scene".
The vehicle had been stopped across the railroad tracks waiting for a traffic light to turn green, according to a statement from the Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department.
Officials said when the crossing barriers were activated the driver attempted to move the lorry out of harm’s way but was unsuccessful.
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