UPDATE | 1 train derailment victim remains in hospital, clean up underway

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News 12 at 11 o'clock, Saturday, August 8, 2015

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- A day after two trains collide and sends four people to the hospital, crews are still trying to clean up the mess.

"They've been working through the night, and I came home yesterday afternoon and they were already doing clean up, bringing in equipment," Chris Dollar said.

Chris Dollar has lived less than a half a mile from the track for 15 years and says he's never seen an accident near his house so bad.

"There's been a few derailments in the past, but nothing like this," he said.

The Washington County sheriff's office says a worker forgot to switch the tracks, causing the collision, but Norfolk Southern says they're still investigating the cause. We asked Norfolk Southern if this was common and they said they're the safest. But in just the past five months, two other Norfolk Southern trains have derailed nearby. In April a train derailed 39 cars in Trenton spilling ammonium nitrate, forcing families to evacuate. Another Norfolk Southern train crashed back in May in Johnston. A truck bottomed out giving the train no time to stop, and left a big mess to clean up. Dollar said this one could have been worse.

"We live so close to the tracks, we are just glad nothing spilled, I think the only thing knocked off was some lumber, so I'm glad no chemicals spilled," he said.

A spokesman says three locomotives and four cars derailed from the accident. One of those trains was carrying wood chips and scrap metal.

The Federal Railroad Administration and the NTSB are investigating.

But as the investigation continues, the track is already back open, sending trains on their way.


Saturday, August 8, 2015

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- Norfolk Southern has said the cause of the train derailment in Sandersville remains under investigation.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office has said the a worker forgot to switch the tracks, causing two trains to collide and derail yesterday.

Three people injured in the crash have been released from the hospital, one victim is still there, according to Rick Harris with Norfolk Southern.

Crews have been cleaning up the scene of the derailment since last night. They re-opened the track around 12:30 p.m. Saturday and the first train ran the track at 1:15 p.m., Norfolk Southern said.



Saturday, August 8, 2015

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- The Washington County Sheriff's Office says they now know the cause of the train derailment.

The Sheriff's Office says a worker forgot to switch the tracks, causing two trains to collide and derail yesterday.



Friday, August 7, 2015

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- Norfolk Southern confirms four crew members are injured. We have since learned three crew members are at Georgia Regents Medical Center. One is on life support. The other two sustained trauma injuries, but are conscious.

Norfolk Southern says one of the trains involved was heading to Savannah from Atlanta. The other train services local industries and was carrying wood chips and scrap metal.

Rick Harris of Norfolk Southern says he is not sure how many cars derailed for both trains.


Friday, August 7, 2015

WASHINGTON CO., Ga. (WRDW) -- Washington County Sheriff's Office has said four people are injured after two trains are involved in a derailment on Sunhill Grange Road off Highway 242 in Sandersville.

The Washington County Sheriff has said two trains on same track came at each other and collided.

Two people have been put on an air evac from the scene, according to the Washington County Sheriff.

Norfolk Southern officials are in route to the scene right now.

News 12 has a crew on the way. Check back here for updates.