Eighteen freight cars derail in Charlemont

  • A Pan Am officer takes pictures of one of 20 train cars that derailed near Hawlemont Regional School on Monday. Recorder Staff/Diane Broncaccio

  • Emergency crews were called to train tracks near Hawlemont Regional School on Monday morning for a minor train derailment. Recorder Staff/Diane Broncaccio

Recorder Staff
Published: 2/27/2017 12:23:41 PM

CHARLEMONT — Pan Am Railways is investigating the cause of a train derailment Monday morning in Charlemont. Eighteen freight cars –  most of them empty –  derailed on a train carrying about 130 cars.

Pan Am spokeswoman Cynthia Scarano said only five of the 18 freight cars were carrying loads: two contained lumber, three carried paper and 13 cars were empty. “We’re still investigating the cause, but it looks as though all the cars can be put back (into service) later Monday afternoon.”

“We’re all safe now,” Charlemont Fire Chief Douglas Annear said, about an hour after the 8:30 a.m. derailment. “Everything’s standing up,” he said of the derailed freight cars, which did not carry hazardous materials.

Also, the tanker cars on the three-quarter-mile long train were empty, he said.

Annear said the children in the nearby Hawlemont Regional School were kept indoors until firefighters were sure everything was safe. Besides the Charlemont Fire Department, the Shelburne Falls and Hawley fire departments provided mutual aid.

The derailed cars were uncoupled from the train around 10 a.m. and left on the tracks as the other cars were removed.


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