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Derailed train in New York spills diesel into Delaware River

Delaware Public Media

A derailed train in upstate New York spilled diesel fuel into the Delaware River Thursday morning.

The train was traveling west from New Jersey to Binghamton along the West Branch of the Delaware River. 

Of the 63 train cars, one contained corrosive material, thirteen contained hazardous contaminated soil and the rest were empty or carrying nonhazardous substances, authorities say.

Two cars fell into the river and one spilled up to 4,000 gallons of diesel into the river.

Tracy Carluccio is the Deputy Director of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. She says based on the amount of oil, agencies are not anticipating the pollution to affect downstream water intakes. But precautions are being taken.

“Delaware Riverkeeper Network volunteers and staff will be looking along the river downstream to see if we can see and photograph or document through observation any water quality or adverse wildlife impacts,” said Carluccio.

Recent rainstorms in the area of the crash have made for rapid downstream river currents, and authorities suspect the rain led to a culvert washout causing the derailment.

“A lot of the fuel that was spilled moved downstream very fast. So we do expect that the pollution that did occur is probably going to move downstream during the day today. It could continue over the next couple days,” said Carluccio.

In the case of hazardous materials threatening downstream water intakes, there is an automatic emergency system in place maintained by the Delaware River Basin Commission.