Residents said that a Wednesday morning train derailment and explosion proved the need to protect residents from nearby train tracks.
The derailment occurred on Fields Avenue, near 5th and 11th avenues, in north Columbus at about 2:05 a.m. Wednesday.
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.
Witness Heather Morgan said that she heard a loud screeching noise before seeing flames shoot hundreds of feet into the air.
"You could feel the house shake," Morgan said. "It like shook your body it was just so scary you don't even know, we weren't even thinking about it. We both took off running and everybody took off running."
Ashley Dixon said that she was going to sleep when the explosion occurred.
"(I) just fled because it was so bad," Dixon said. "All we saw was just a fireball. It was a mushroom cloud that just went up."
Diane Dixon is with the local civic association. She said the group has been discussing the need for a barrier between the tracks and homes to protect residents from debris and, in yesterday's case, flames.
"There's a lot of children in this area," Diane Dixon said. "There's new homes being built."
Dixon and her family were allowed to return to their homes nearly 12 hours after the explosion.
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