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Boxcar plunges off rail bridge Accident spills freight onto Cheektowaga road

A CSX freight train -- carrying cans of mixed vegetables -- derailed in Cheektowaga on Sunday morning, sending one boxcar tottering over the edge of a railroad bridge and sending a second onto Union Road, authorities reported.

Cheektowaga police and CSX officials said there were no injuries, but the boxcar that fell dropped about 30 feet onto the street below, breaking open and spilling cans of mixed vegetables onto the street.

The accident closed a section of Union Road between Broadway and Walden Avenue for several hours Sunday while crews cleaned up the roadway.

"Fortunately, this occurred on a Sunday when there is little traffic, and no one was hurt," said Cheektowaga police Capt. James Morath.

Meg Sacks, a spokeswoman for CSX in Jacksonville, Fla., said the 64-car train was heading from Buffalo to Rotterdam, west of Albany. The train was traveling east on the railroad bridge at 8:05 a.m. when four boxcars veered off the tracks. Two remained on the bridge, a third was hanging over the edge, and a fourth left the bridge.

Morath said state Department of Transportation officials responded to the scene and were analyzing the street for damage. The derailment also caused damage to the railroad bridge, he said.

Sacks said CSX workers are trying to determine the reason for the derailment by analyzing the tracks, investigating the way the train was being operated, looking at the cars and locomotive and by downloading the train's "black box."

"We do not expect Amtrak service to be affected," said Sacks, who noted two of the four sets of tracks in the area remained open. "We appreciate the public's patience. We are out there trying to clean this up as safely and as quickly as possible ... "

e-mail: vthomas@buffnews.com

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