A southbound train derailed on the Marion-Levy county line in Dunnellon early Friday morning, resulting in no injuries or fires.
According to a Marion County fire officials, the accident occurred at 4:42 a.m. in a wooded area about a mile south of Highway 328 where it meets U.S. 41 in Dunnellon.
Nine CSX Corp. cars carrying coal overturned along the Florida Northern Railroad, spilling their cargo. The track is run by Pinsley Railroad Co.
Marion County Fire Rescue and Sheriff’s Office units were dispatched to the scene, which was declared clear at 5:38 a.m.
Crew members are still on scene cleaning the mess, which they said will take about two to three days.
Railroad crew members are unsure of what caused the derailing, but one ex-CSX employee has a theory.
Kevin Gould, who was a CSX employee for 10 years and has been a self-proclaimed train enthusiast for 35 years, said due to the tracks becoming too brittle from the recent cold weather, they broke under the weight of the train causing it to derail.
“I do not believe that this was the fault of the railroad,” said Gould, who was at the scene taking pictures of the accident.
The damages from the crash could easily be around a million dollars, he said.
He said he feels sorry for them having to deal with the situation, “but unfortunately it’s a part of railroading and it happens everywhere this time of year.”