January 6, 2012 2:09 PM
Source: Chicago CBS
Smoke rises from the scene of a train derailment and fire near Westville, Ind. Friday afternoon. (CBS)
UPDATED: 1/6/2012 3:15 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Three freight trains collided in Northwest Indiana, just east of Valparaiso, causing a massive chain reaction derailment and small fire.
Three trains were involved in the crash on the CSX rail line that runs from Chicago to New York. The first train stopped for an emergency, and a second train slowed but still hit the first train. A third train then plowed into the first two, apparently unaware of crash.
Two people were injured and were being treated by nearby Porter Hospital. They were listed as stable, a spokesman said.
CSX officials were not immediately available for comment. Video from the scene showed several charred cars strewn across a wooded field. Flames were visible, and firefighters were working to put out a small fire.
The crash happened around 1:20 p.m. at County Road 500 East and 600 North in Jackson Twp. near the town of Westville. That’s located about four or five miles northeast of downtown Valparaiso.
The area is largely rural although there are some homes nearby. Authorities are reportedly closed down roads near the crash scene.
Phil Griffith, director of the Porter County Emergency Management Agency, said there was a small explosion after the accident, and there were hazardous chemicals on board.
The accident was about two miles away from a school with about 600 kids, officials said.