ROSEDALE, Md. - A cargo trained derailed in Rosedale Tuesday afternoon -- causing the collapse of several surrounding buildings.
The derailment happened at about 2:00 p.m. in the 7500 block of Lake Drive -- near the area of Pulaski Highway. Pulaski Highway was closed in both directions. Exit ramps from I-95 and I-895 connecting to Pulaski Highway (Highway 40) were also closed.
One person was transported from the scene to Shock Trauma in serious condition. The Hyde Park Volunteer Fire Department confirmed that person to be John Alban, Jr. Members of the fire department say Alban is an active volunteer and drives a truck for his full-time job. Alban was driving a truck struck by the train prior to the derailment.
According to state records, John Alban Jr. operates a company called Alban Waste, based in Rosedale - on 68th Street.
Nearby businesses were evacuated. Those living as far as 20 miles away claim to have heard the "boom" and say they could see the smoke.
Witnesses in the area say businesses near the incident shook, and a "mushroom cloud" could be seen.
Richard Bosley, who was working in the area, said you could also smell and taste fumes in the air. Kenneth Carter, from Essex, said he heard the explosion -- five miles away. Jeremy Griffith works at Gamse Lithographing. He said lots of lights fell in his office. He felt a lot of shaking.
[ WATCH WITNESS ACCOUNTS ]
Ezinne and Michael Onyedum were riding home from school and saw the smoke. They live near the area of the derailment. To say they were a little scared would be an understatement.
"All we saw was a big cloud of smoke," Michael Onyedum said. "From our house, we got to see it. ...We were so confused. We were like, 'should we get evacuated?'"
Despite their fears, Michael and Ezinne decided to go for a closer look. They struggled to describe what they saw.
"This is crazy," Michael said. "This never happens in Rosedale."
Michael and Ezinne's older brother Stanley Onyedum said he and classmates at Overlea High School heard and felt the explosion.
"You really felt the room and everything shake," Stanley said.
Officials say MARC service was not impacted. The track is a CSX line
[ READ STATEMENT ] . As many as 15 rail cars were knocked from the tracks.
Fire departments and emergency officials from several counties responded to assist with the management of smoke and flames at the scene. They say though the smell was strong, there wasn't anything hazardous in the air. However, those with breathing problems were asked to stay clear of the scene. Officials said the fire could burn through the night. Foam trucks, in addition to traditional equipment, were called to the scene.
Baltimore County public safety officials said chemicals found in the train are flourocyclic acid and teraphaelic acid -- non-toxic.
Drivers advised to avoid area near derailment, explosion
The Baltimore City Department of Transportation would like to advise motorists of a train derailment that occurred this afternoon in the vicinity of Lake Drive and 68th Street in east Baltimore.
Due to the derailment, traffic is now being detoured off of Pulaski Highway between Moravia Road and Chesaco Avenue. Other primary roadways in the area including Philadelphia Road and I-95 are also affected by the incident.
Motorists are strongly encouraged to use alternate routes this afternoon and avoid these areas if possible. Drivers are also advised to allow additional travel time for this afternoon's commute and to listen to local traffic reports for updates on this incident.
Rosedale VFC will serve as shelter for residents of 62nd, 63rd and 64th streets who choose to evacuate. Firefighters are going door-to-door. Officials say there are about 60 homes in that area.