Three trains derail after collision, catch fire

January 6, 2012

The Associated Press

VALPARAISO, Ind. — Officials say three freight trains have derailed after a collision in northwest Indiana and multiple tanker cars are burning.

Porter County Emergency Management Director Phil Griffith says no injuries have been reported at the scene and all train personnel are accounted for after the accident about 1:45 p.m. Friday near Valparaiso.

Griffith says one train rear-ended another, which then derailed into a third train on an adjacent track.

Griffith says a county hazardous materials team is on the scene to evaluate whether there have been any spills from the tankers. A handful of homes within a half-mile of the crash have now been evacuated as a precaution.

Television news helicopter footage shows black smoke billowing from the tops of several mangled train cars as firefighters work to tamp down flames.