A cargo train derailed and exploded this afternoon in the Rosendale area of Maryland, just outside of Baltimore. The National Transportation Safety Board is continuing to investigate the situation. Exits from I-95 and I-895 to Pulaski Highway are currently closed.
As reported by the Washington Post, the incident happened around 2 pm. Police, fire, and hazardous materials authorities have arrived on scene. Witnesses report that following the derailment, there was an explosion which caused the collapse of several buildings in the area.
The train is currently burning and spewing smoke according to witnesses on scene. Officials are concerned that the smoke may be harmful if inhaled as they have not assessed the toxicity.
As reported by ABC 7, authorities ask anyone who can see the smoke to evacuate the area as a precaution. Authorities are currently evacuating residents in a 20 block radius. A conflicting report states that Baltimore County police and fire spokesman Elise Armacost contends that an evacuation has not been officially ordered.
The tracks are owned by CSX. Authorities assure residents that Amtrak passenger services are unaffected by the derailment and will continue as scheduled.
Several witnesses state that the cargo train struck a garbage truck or a tractor-trailer. The driver of the vehicle was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Officials state that he is currently listed in stable condition.
As reported by CNN, video and pictures taken by area residents show at least five train cars off the track. The cargo train derailed and exploded in a warehouse district where people were working.
Most of the workers saw the derailment and fire, prompting them to run or drive away from the scene, before the explosion.
Details are still sketchy as authorities continue to investigate and assess the scene. The exact cause of the train derailment and explosion are unknown.
[Images via Twitter]