Witnesses describe Dade Co. train derailment - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Witnesses describe Dade Co. train derailment


DADE CO. GA (WRCB)  --  The north bound Norfolk Southern train that derailed Sunday evening and many like it are called "freight of all kinds". They carry any and everything across the country. The one that derailed was carrying paper, cargo that never reached its destination.

"I was in the bed, it woke me up. Bang bang," explains resident Richard Genzry.

People who live along Highway 11 received a rude wake-up call to start their work week when the train jumped the track. "Its the most excitement we've had in Dade County since I was born," says Joyce Drew.

In this neighborhood they're used to the sound of passing trains, about five or six times a day. However, the noise residents heard Sunday night was nearly deafening.

"The whole house, the trailer just started vibrating and shaking," says Louise Warner.  

A derailed train was the furthest thought from their mind and if a tornado sounds like a freight train then a freight train can sound like a, "tornado, that was my first thought," Warner says.

"It scared the fire out of me. I come out looking up at the sky," says Drew.

Drew says she even put her disabled uncle inside a closet to escape what she thought was a severe storm. "Had to physically pick him up, put him in the closet," she says.

A Norfolk Southern spokesperson tells Channel 3, 16 of the 19 cars were empty. While its not clear what exactly happened witnesses on the scene who spoke with responders moments after the derailment say a wheel came off one of the cars.

"There was so much sparks it looked like the track was on fire," Warner explains. Thankfully no one was injured.

The cause of the derailment is under investigation. The rail line and parallel highway were reopened before 3 p.m. Monday.

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