Train derailment in downtown Altoona

Local News

BLAIR COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ) — A Norfolk Southern freight train carrying coal derailed in downtown Altoona near the Station Medical Center causing several cars to come off the track.

Clean-up crews were working all day and many Altoona residents came to see what happened.

“It’s something you’re driving by, you don’t normally see a derailment in downtown Altoona,” Altoona resident Collin Reinhart said.

“That doesn’t happen so often that people wanna hear about it,” Altoona resident Taylor Mahan said.

And while this doesn’t happen often, it did occur in 2015 in the same area, but onlookers said that time the damage was much worse.

“Do you remember the other one Taylor, it was up that way and it was a lot more cars,” Altoona resident, Mark Taylor said.

So those who came to watch the cleanup said they weren’t surprised.

“They have a history of train crashes through this whole area on up to the curve, as long as this track has been built it’s just one of those things that happens,” Mark said.

This is believed to have occurred Friday night, but the assistant chief of the Altoona Fire Department, Matt Detrich, said the railroad never notified them or dispatch about the incident.

And as they clean the mess…

“They’re trying to get the mainline back into operation, so to get everything open and moving fluid again so it’s just going to back up traffic,” Reinhart said.

The track also appears to need repairs before it will be operable.

“I hope all those guys stay safe they are doing a pretty dangerous job,” Mark said.

Fire officials said there is no concern of hazardous material and no injuries reported.

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