Train hauling crude oil derails on Philadelphia bridge

PHILADELPHIA Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:10pm EST

PHILADELPHIA Jan 20 (Reuters) - A freight train carrying crude oil derailed on Monday on a railroad bridge in Philadelphia, forcing the closing of the busy Schuylkill Expressway, authorities said.

Nothing leaked in the derailment which occurred about 1 a.m. EST (0600 GMT) near the Schuylkill River, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement.

The accident was the latest in a series of crashes of trains carrying crude oil in the United States and Canada that has raised safety concerns.

The Schuylkill Expressway was closed for nearly an hour after the derailment and again at about noon, according to a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Delays occurred as well as motorists slowed to look at a tanker car and a freight car visibly leaning sideways on the railway bridge.

Local media quoted a CSX Corp spokesman as saying the 101-car freight train was headed to Philadelphia from Chicago, and that seven cars derailed on the bridge.

Six of the derailed cars carried crude oil, CSX was quoted as saying. The cause of the derailment was unknown, and no injuries were reported.

CSX did not immediately return calls seeking details or comment.

The Philadelphia crash extends a string of accidents involving trains hauling crude oil.

Last July, a runaway oil train derailed and exploded in the center of the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic, killing 47 people.

In early November, an oil train derailed in rural Alabama and erupted into flames that took several days to extinguish.

On Dec. 30, an oil train collided with a derailed car from a grain train outside the small town of Casselton, North Dakota. The fiery collision spilled more 400,000 gallons of crude and forced the evacuation of 1,400 people from their homes.