Surveillance video shows moment freight train derailed in Matteson, leading to evacuations

Crews with the Canadian National railway, which operated the train, spent Friday morning lifting the cars off the tracks while debris littered the area.

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NBC Chicago obtained video showing the moment a freight train derailed on Thursday in south suburban Matteson, sending more than 20 cars off the tracks and prompting evacuations of nearby homes.

Surveillance footage captured by surveillance cameras at Sun Ray Heating, Inc., a business adjacent to the railroad tracks, shows train cars crashing off the rails, kicking up dust and slamming into parked cars.

“It was just a long, loud crash. Just crumbling and crumbling," said David Sundeen, owner of Sun Ray Heating, Inc. “I heard somebody scream there’s a train crash, and we all ran out the door and we saw the dust and whatever was coming out of the trains.”

Fortunately, no one was injured.

Crews with the Canadian National Railway, which operated the train, spent Friday morning lifting the cars off the tracks while debris littered the area. CN officials said two of the rail cars leaked liquified petroleum gas, which was contained Thursday afternoon.

Work was underway late Thursday to remove the 25 train cars involved in a derailment. NBC Chicago’s Randy Gyllenhaal reports.

A mandatory evacuation order was issued to residents and businesses due to a suspected leak, but was lifted in the following hours.

On Friday, CN conducted a controlled flaring of 11 cars that also have liquid petroleum gas, which is a requirement to eliminate any leftover product in order to safely remove the railcar, according to company spokespeople.

“Amazing how much work these guys have done overnight," Sundeen said.

The National Transportation Safety Board will not investigate this crash, stating they only select accidents based on public risks and resources available. Officials said Thursday afternoon that there was no threat to the public in Matteson.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. The Federal Railroad Administration sent personnel to the scene, and will initiate a formal investigation of this accident.

CN also planned to conduct an investigation.

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