Train derails, knocks house off its foundation in northwest Atlanta

Train derails, knocks house off its foundation in northwest Atlanta

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JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM
A train derailed and knocked a house off its foundation in northwest Atlanta. 
  • Story Highlights
  • Fourteen railcars left the tracks near the 1300 block of Andrews Street.
  • A man in the home was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
  • All intersections the train crosses are currently blocked.

A train derailed and knocked a northwest Atlanta home off its foundation early Thursday as a man slept in his bedroom.

The man, who was trapped inside the home in the 1300 block of Andrews Street, was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital with minor injuries to his legs after authorities rescued him, officials said.

“You’re sleeping in your bed, and you hear a large rumble and then you hear a large crash,” Atlanta fire spokesman Cortez Stafford. “So he’s very fortunate that he’s alive right now.”

According to Stafford, the northbound CSX train went about 5 to 10 feet inside the house after 14 railcars left the tracks about 3 a.m.

The impact pushed part of the home’s structure out through the other side, leaving it unlivable.

Atlanta firefighters responded Thursday morning after a train derailed and crashed into a house in northwest Atlanta. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

All intersections where the train crosses were blocked for several hours, but the scene was quickly stabilized and the neighborhood did not need to be evacuated, Stafford said.

A man was injured when a train derailed and crashed into a house in northwest Atlanta early Thursday. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

CSX spokesman Rob Doolittle said crews would work around the clock to clear the derailed cars as quickly as possible.

The cause of the incident will be investigated as part of the recovery effort, he said.

“There are no reports of any leaks or spills of freight from the train at this time,” he said. “And CSX personnel are working with Atlanta police and firefighters to assess the situation while maintaining the safety of nearby residents.”

At the time of the crash, the train was traveling from Waycross to Cincinnati, Ohio, with three locomotives, 68 loaded railcars and 123 empty railcars, Doolittle said.

A man was injured when a train derailed and crashed into a house in northwest Atlanta early Thursday. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

The train was hauling sand, carbon black used in tire manufacturing and other bulk materials.

Tomaya Tucker, a neighbor of the injured man, said the train runs through the area about four times a day and she never expected anything like this to happen.

The crash sounded like something blew up, she said. So she ran outside to see what happened. 

The beautiful home she admired with about six bedrooms, three bathrooms, a porch and a big backyard was ruined.

“Your house is your pride,” Tucker said.

There aren’t many homes in Tucker’s immediate area, and it’s a quiet community, she said.

“So for that to happen,” Tucker said, “my feelings (are) hurt for him.”


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