Baltimore City fire and police are in the 1900 block of Falls Road where the freight train derailed at 3:27 p.m. on a bridge that carries the tracks over Falls Roads and Jones Falls. Fire officials report there are no injuries.
At least three train cars are hanging off the tracks. A total of nine cars were derailed and fell two stories. The car, which the Baltimore Sun reports could be centerbeam cars, were empty, but normally hold building supplies like lumber.
Fire officials said it could have been much worse.
Officials said they believe the freight train was on its way out of the city when it derailed.
They report one car, with a woman inside, was struck by a telephone pole after the train derailed, however she was not injured.
An eyewitness named Cheryl told WJZ she heard when the pole struck the car.
She said the area is a popular destination for cyclist and she was following one when she heard the crash.
“I was in shock,” Cheryl said. ‘I didn’t really think of myself being smushed under there, I was like whoa, I’m lucky my car didn’t get hurt.”
She said the train derailment was slow-moving.
“It was like slowest, most graceful falling of a box car to the ground,” Cheryl added.
“The full circumstances related to the derailment of the CSX train are under investigation,” Mayor Catherine Pugh said. “We are, of course, grateful that there have been no injuries reported.”
The derailment occurred just blocks away from the Penn Station and in an area that’s a regularly busy part of town with businesses, restaurants and offices.
Some of the derailed train cars are leaning on the The Baltimore Streetcar Museum building, prevent more from falling off the tracks.
Russell, who is a Streetcar Museum member, said the derailment could have been worse if the cars that derailed were filled with cargo.
“It also looks like we have a safety issue because things are falling off of the cars. We’re going to have to pullback at least three more car lengths when the train is going over before we proceed in the future,” Russell said.
Train inspectors are on scene to investigate the cause of the derailment and also clear the tracks.
“Today at approximately 3:27 p.m. a CSX train derailed multiple rail cars near the Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore. At this time no leaks, spills or injuries have been reported. CSX personnel are on site with local emergency management and will be evaluating actions to restore the site as quickly and safely as possible. Our main priority is the safety of the community, employees and emergency responders. We apologize for the disruption to the community. We will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves,” CSX issued a statement via Twitter.
Residents and motorists are being asked to avoid the area, as it’ll remains shut down for several hours.
Roads in the area are closed Falls Road prior to North Avenue has been shut down.
An Amtrak spokeswoman said there’s no impact on Amtrak services at the moment. WJZ has also learned that MARC trains are unaffected as well.
Some outages being reported due to the derailment and traffic lights are out in the area. More than 300 BGE customers are affected.
At this time, officials don’t believe there’s any environmental impact or hazard to the community.
This story is developing. Stay with WJZ for the latest.