Cleanup begins in Tontogany after CSX train jumps tracks

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TONTOGANY, Ohio (WTVG) - In the Village of Tontogany in Wood County, a big cleanup is underway after six train cars jumped the tracks.

CSX train officials are still on scene investigating how this happened.

Crews are in the process of putting the rail cars back on track.

Those that derailed were carrying non-hazardous materials, but one rail car struck a local restaurant causing some structural damage.

In broad daylight, when residents were out and about, many tell 13abc it's a miracle no one was hurt.

Six CSX rail cars carrying mixed freight jumped the tracks.

One took down the crossing gates while another carrying plastic pellets hit Doc's restaurant, smashing the side brick wall.

"I wouldn't call it major damage but it's definitely damaged it, they probably wouldn't be able to open for business," said Fire Chief Todd Buehrer, with Washington Twp. Fire Dept. "I heard the loud banging, I actually commented that a train just derailed, looked out the window and it was still coming to a stop and ran out and jumped in the truck and knew we were going to be coming out to take care of this."

Doc's Food & Spirits is normally closed on Sundays and Mondays so no one was inside.

This is the second CSX train derailment in two years at this same spot.

"Just a heck of a wreck that's all I can say," said resident Doug Henschen who lives above the Doc's restaurant and felt the rumble. “I was sitting in my living room and watching TV and I heard a big bang and it shook the house. I looked out and I said yeah there's a train wreck again."

CSX officials say the train was headed from Chicago to Toledo at the time with a total of 215 rail cars.

Back in February of 2014, 18 cars derailed and slightly damaged two buildings.

No injuries were reported at that time as well.

The fire chief says CSX trains come through town about 10-12 times a day.

Right now train experts are on scene removing the derailed cars and there is no estimate yet on how long the repairs will take.

Statement from CSX:

"At about 4:30 p.m. today, a CSX train carrying mixed freight derailed near Main Street in Tontogany, OH. The train was headed from Chicago, IL to CSX’s Stanley Yard near Toledo, OH carrying 144 loaded rail cars and 71 empty cars.

Preliminary inspections indicate six rail cars derailed and one of those rail cars struck a building near the tracks. CSX experts are on scene. Currently there is no indication of leaks or spills – nor are there any reported injuries.

CSX safety personnel are inspecting the train, surveying the damage and assessing the needs of impacted business owners and residents. Our first priority is to ensure the safety of the public and our crews as we work to remove the derailed cars. CSX thanks Wood County first responders for their swift and professional response and their continued support on site. We also appreciate the public’s patience while we work to restore the derailment site as quickly and as safely as possible."

-Laura Phelps
Manager, Media Relations CSX Transportation