A 12-person team from the National Transportation Safety Board worked to reconstruct railroad tracks to figure out what caused a train derailment and explosion Wednesday morning.
The derailment occurred on Fields Avenue, near 5th and 11th avenues, in north Columbus at about 2:05 a.m.
The area was shut down because of the derailment of a Norfolk Southern train from Chicago, heading to Linwood, N.C.
Seventeen of 98 cars that were carrying chemicals like ethanol and Styrene, a chemical used to make plastic, derailed. Cars carrying grain and corn syrup also fueled the fire, which burned for nearly 12 hours.
Investigators said that the train was going 23 mph around a curve seconds before it derailed.
NTSB spokesman Ear Weener said that the conductors saw nothing wrong on the track as they approached the bend.
“Shortly after entering the curve, they got an undesirable breaking. Which means the air supply broke because of the derailing,” Weener said.
Investigators said that it took about 20 seconds for the train to stop once the emergency brakes were activated. The train skidded an additional 372 feet.
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