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Several powerlines down due to train derailment in Fountaintown; CSX investigating

Nearly 450 homes and businesses without power; Road closures could be in place for 24 hours
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Posted at 10:42 AM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 14:19:47-04

FOUNTAINTOWN — State Road 9 and U.S. Highway 52, Railroad Street and Division Street are all closed to traffic for at least the next 24 hours in Shelby County while emergency crews work the scene of a CSX freight train derailment in Fountaintown.

Crews were dispatched to the 11000 block of Division Street around 8 a.m. on Thursday morning on reports of a railroad car on top of a tanker, according to the Indianapolis Fire Department.

Shelby County Sheriff's Deputies arrived at the scene first and evacuated five homes north of the scene and five homes south as a precaution.

Approximately 13 train cars out of 80 that were part of the train traveling east to west were derailed, according to IFD. All 13 were catastrophically damaged.

At this time, the cause of the derailment is unknown but CSX is investigating exactly what happened. Preliminary information included in IFD's report of the incident states there was a "possible failure of the wheels on the front car or a possible flaw in the track itself."

"The initial car failed at least 100 yards east of where it actually derailed," the IFD report read continued. "The impact of the cars behind it, pushed it 100 yards to the west and 20 feet off the track where it landed on its side."

Approximately 447 homes and businesses are without power due to a power line that was disengaged during the derailment that in turn downed several other power lines. The estimated time for those to be fixed is between 2:30 p.m. and midnight, according to IFD.

Shelbyville and Shelby Eastern Schools have been contacted to consider re-routing their school buses for afternoon drop-offs.

CSX anticipates having the investigation complete and the rail repaired within the next 24 to 48 hours.

Several agencies were involved at the scene alongside IFD and CSX including:

  • Fountain Volunteer Fire Department
  • Shelbyville Fire Department
  • Sugar Creek Fire Department
  • Morristown Fire Department
  • Shelby County Sheriff’s Office
  • Shelby County Emergency Management Agency
  • Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office
  • Indiana State Department of Homeland Security
  • Duke Energy

Video from the scene:

This article will be updated with any new information as we receive it.

WRTV Photojournalist Shea Goodpaster contributed to this report.