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Freight Train Jumps Tracks on Bridge Over Bay; Six Cars Fall into Water

May 22, 1991

DANBURY, Ohio (AP) _ About 40 cars of a freight train derailed early today on a bridge over Sandusky Bay on Lake Erie. Six empty train cars fell into the shallow water, authorities said.

Sgt. Steve Pitzer of the Danbury Township police said about 30 residents of a campground were evacuated as a precaution but Conrail assured local authorities no hazardous materials were aboard the train.

No injuries were reported in the derailment, which occurred shortly after midnight.

″There are some cars that you can see,″ Pitzer said. ″Others are completely submerged.″

Conrail spokesman Bob Sullivan said the cars that fell into the water were empty. The 137-car train was carrying miscellaneous items, including corn syrup and soap powder, he said. Fifty-eight cars were empty.

He said the track should be back in service tonight.

The cause of the derailment wasn’t immediately known. Conrail inspectors were at the site to investigate and assess damage.

The metal girder bridge links Danbury in Ottawa County with Bay View in Erie County. A bridge that carries automobile traffic runs parallel to the train bridge, but traffic was unaffected.

Conrail has brought in a company with heavy equipment to pull the trains out of the water.

Pitzer said there were initial reports that two fishermen near the accident site were missing, but they were later accounted for.

The train was en route from Pittsburgh to Elkhart, Ind.

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