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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Freight train derails into river in Pennsylvania

A Norfolk Southern train is en route on Feb. 14, 2023, in East Palestine, Ohio. (Angelo Merendino/Getty Images/TNS)  (Angelo Merendino/Getty Images North America/TNS)
By Jessica Schladebeck New York Daily News

A freight train careened off the tracks in eastern Pennsylvania early Saturday morning, leaving at least one railroad car partially submerged in the Lehigh River.

The derailment occurred near Bethlehem around 4:15 a.m., according to a statement on Nancy Run Fire Company’s Facebook page. Images shared alongside the social media post show a black Norfolk Southern freight tangled around itself and off the tracks running along Riverside Drive in Lower Saucon Township.

It was not clear how many railroad cars were involved in the incident. No injuries or hazardous materials had been reported by Saturday afternoon.

“There are currently no evacuations, no injuries, and no leaks from any containers,” Northampton County’s executive, Lamont McClure, said. “Northampton County Emergency Management as well as the Lehigh County Hazmat team are on site and providing support.”

McClure also urged residents to avoid the area while first responders continue their work at the site.

Several of those residents reporting hearing the crash, saying they were woken up thinking it was thunder.

In a statement to CBS News, Norfolk Southern said its “crews and contractors are on-scene and developing a clean-up plan.”

The transport company has suffered several train derailments in the last few years, including one involving hazardous materials in East Palestine, Ohio, on the border with Pennsylvania.

The incident, which occurred on Feb. 3, 2023, saw 38 cars of the 151-car train tip over. Another 12 caught fire.

In the year since, residents have suffered myriad health problems they believe to be related to the smoke and toxic chemicals released into the air.

Around 3,500 small fish across 7.5 miles of streams also died in the chemical spill resulting from the crash.