Pennsylvania train derailment: Silicone pellets found leaking out of collapsed train cars, police say

Emergency crews responded to the scene of a train derailment in Montgomery County, which prompted temporary evacuations in the area. 

According to authorities, 16 cars on a CSX train derailed in the area of Stenton Avenue, Flourtown Road and Joshua Road in Whitemarsh Township early Monday morning. 

Emergency crews from multiple agencies and local fire departments responded to the derailment, according to Todd Stieritz, the Public Affairs Coordinator for the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety. 

While on scene, crews learned the cars were carrying different chemical materials, including Urea, tetrafluoroethylene, polyethylene or silicone pellets and trash. 

According to police, the train car with the pellets broke open, but the products do not pose a threat to the safety of the public. 

Authorities say they are unaware of where the train traveled from or its intended destination. 

CSX says the cause of the crash was determined to be weather related. A CSX spokesperson in an email wrote preliminary reports place the blame on a sinkhole in the rail bed caused by the weather.

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The company released the following statement: 

"At approximately 4:50 a.m. ET today, a CSX train carrying 40 cars derailed around 16 cars on Norfolk Southern tracks near the intersection of Joshua and Flourtown Road in Whitemarsh, PA. While preliminary reports indicate that one car transporting hazardous material was involved in the incident, there is no indication of any leaks or spills of hazardous materials and there are no injuries to the crew of the train. The local fire department responded and declared an evacuation of just over a dozen homes out of an abundance of caution."


Twelve homes and some businesses closest to the derailment site were evacuated early Monday morning out of an abundance of caution, police say. 

According to officials, residents were allowed to return to their homes after the contents that spilled open were deemed safe. 

Representatives of Norfolk Southern, CSX and the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety's Emergency Response Team are on site investigating. 

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro tweeted about the incident, saying, "My team and I are monitoring the train derailment in Whitemarsh Twp and assisting local first responders. Thank you to the residents taking precautions at the direction of local authorities. I urge you to continue following their instruction."

The United States Department of Transportation says officials from the Federal Railroad Administration are on their way to Montgomery County to gather information. 

Authorities say no injuries were reported as a result of the derailment.