Plainfield Police Provide Update After Train Derailment

As crews continued to work to repair track damage and clean up oil after a freight train derailed in suburban Plainfield, residents got some good news on Saturday night. 

According to Plainfield Police, train traffic on the affected tracks could resume as early as 8 a.m. tomorrow. 

"Due to the amount of work being done, they will be monitoring the new embankment closely and during that time, trains will move slower than normal through the village for some time," the department announced on Facebook. 

Canadian National, the company that operates the tracks, has been working since the derailment to restore service, and their efforts are proving fruitful as traffic is expected to resume soon. 

The derailment occurred shortly after 6:30 p.m. Friday near 143rd St. east of Van Dyke Rd., authorities said.

Twenty cars of the 115-car Canadian National Railway train derailed and two, possibly three, were punctured in the crash, according to a spokesman for the agency.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimated that around 45,000 gallons of crude oil leaked into the surrounding area, though officials said there it did not impact nearby waterways, including the DuPage River.

The EPA maintained the spill has not impacted air quality and there is no threat to the public, though they continued to monitor the situation.

Crews have foam on the oil and said it is all contained, but were exercising caution to prevent it from spreading or causing a fire.

No injuries were reported in the incident, which occurred on a freight line with no passenger trains.

Authorities said Saturday that while the derailment was significant, it could have been much worse.

"There was a lot of things that were in our favor," said Plainfield Police Chief John Konopek. "If this had to happen in Plainfield – maybe the businesses nearby don’t think this - but it’s very fortunate that that was where it happened."

"It was an unpopulated area per se, it wasn’t near any residential properties," he continued. "There's no people necessarily in harm's way when the actual derailment happened."

Police asked residents of the community both to avoid the area, and for their patience as clean-up is expected to take several days.

The cause of the derailment remains under investigation.

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