A freight train derailed near Philadelphia, the largest city in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania on Monday morning, prompting precautionary evacuations, authorities said.
The 40-car train derailed around 16 cars on Norfolk Southern tracks near the intersection of Joshua and Flourtown Road in Whitemarsh Township in Montgomery County at around 4:50 a.m. local time, according to the train’s owner, CSX Corporation, one of the nation’s leading transportation suppliers.
“While preliminary reports indicate that one car transporting hazardous material was involved in the incident, there is no indication of any leaks or spills of hazardous materials and there are no injuries to the crew of the train,” said the company in a statement, adding that the cause of the incident appears to be weather related.
“The local fire department responded and declared an evacuation of just over a dozen homes out of an abundance of caution,” said the company.
Whitemarsh Township, a 14.53-square mile municipality, is one of Philadelphia’s inner-ring suburbs, according to its official website.
“Precautionary evacuations have occurred at the residents and businesses closest to the scene. It is not believed that further evacuations will be needed, but we will evaluate as we know more,” Whitemarsh Township Police Department said on its Facebook page.
“As of now, the only thing that is leaking from any of the rail cars involved, is silicone pellets which pose no risk to the community,” the department added in an update.
Whitemarsh Emergency Services is investigating the derailment and officials are still gathering information.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), an agency in the United States Department of Transportation, said in a tweet that the agency’s safety personnel are en route to the scene of the derailment to gather information.
The FRA said it will work with local officials on the ground and encourages residents to follow their guidance.
The incident occurred following a series of recent train derailments in the country this year. One of the incidents that drew national attention occurred on Feb. 3 when a Norfolk Southern freight train carrying hazardous materials derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, resulting in a significant fire and hazardous materials release in the area.