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Double derailment in Ohio; some engines catch fire

August 1, 1997

SALEM, Ohio (AP) _ One car of a Conrail train derailed Thursday and knocked 59 cars of a passing train carrying hazardous materials off the tracks, causing some engines to catch fire near several large propane tanks.

An engineer on the second train was hurt and taken to Salem Community Hospital, said fire Capt. Dennis Groves. The injury was not considered life-threatening. A few residents in the area were evacuated as a precaution.

Conrail spokesman Ron Hildebrant in Philadelphia said four engines and 55 cars of the second train derailed. That train had three workers on it, he said, adding that he did not know many employees were on the first train.

The last three cars of the second train contained hazardous materials, ``but they are a good ways away from the engines that are on fire,″ he said.

He could not identify the hazardous materials but said two were corrosives and one was a flammable liquid.

The burning engines threatened several large propane storage tanks at a nearby American Standard plant, Groves said. Firefighters hosed down the tanks to keep them cool.

Hildebrant did not know where the trains were headed or where they were coming from.

The double derailment occurred in an industrial area of Salem, 18 miles southwest of Youngstown.

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