GARDNER (CBS) – It was around 4:00 p.m Wednesday afternoon, Joanne Hursey looked out her window to check the weather. “I was waiting for it to stop snowing,” she said. But instead, she witnessed a train derailment as it happened. “I saw that train right there and it was like this just a little wobble, but I never seen a train wobble in my whole life but then all of a sudden it went boom on it’s side,” she said.
From her living room, she watched as three other cars began to topple at the South Main Street crossing in Gardner. “I didn’t believe it and then all of a sudden boom boom. The other ones fell down too, boom, boom, boom on their sides.” Hursey called out for her husband Tom. “I was in the kitchen and she yelled at me to look out the window and I see the train on its side I immediately picked up the phone and called 911 and they were here in minutes and thank God nobody got hurt,” Tom Hursey said.
Gardner’s Mayor, Mark Hawke, is thankful for no injuries either, especially along this busy route. “It could’ve been a lot worse. The cars carrying hazardous materials come through town all the time so the fact that there were no injuries and they were just automobiles on the train cars, we’re lucky in that respect,” he said. The four cars were carrying new vehicles and were part of an 80 car train. “For a couple of hours Route 2A was also blocked because they had to stop the rest of the train in order to check it out to make sure no other cars were in danger of falling over,” Mayor Hawke explained.
Charles Rennick, a spokesperson for Providence and Worcester Railroad Company said the cause of the derailment remains under investigation. A crew responsible for up-righting and re-railing the cars arrived at the scene late Wednesday night. Mayor Hawke said South Main could be closed for days, but Rennick would not give a specific timeline for cleanup.
It appears only one of the cars got close to any of the homes in the area. From her home across from where the cars ended up, Joanne Hursey still can’t believe she saw it happen. “It was like a movie. It was like a movie. Just a big bang,” she said.
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