DARLINGTON, S.C. − Two people were transported to a Florence area hospital Monday afternoon following a train-derailing collision between a log truck and a locomotive on East McIver Road just outside Darlington.
The crash scattered logs down the tracks, demolished the truck and left the South Carolina Central locomotive derailed with a lot of front end damage.
The collision, which happened around noon, left McIver Road blocked near the entrance to the Fiber Industries plant.
Both the truck driver and the engineer were transported to a Florence area hospital for treatment of their injuries.
A hopper car behind the locomotive appeared to also have been damaged and possibly derailed. The rest of the train, several more hopper cars and some tank cars remained undamaged and on the rails.
The train didn't appear to have been doing too fast as it pushed the truck about 20 yards down from the crossing.
Palmetto Rural Fire Chief Tommy Spivey, who said he passed the train on Old Florence Road on his way into Darlington for a lunch meeting, said he got his order in just in time to have to leave and respond to the derailment. The crossing signals, he said, were working upon his arrival.
The truck, which had just topped off its diesel tanks, spilled 165 gallons at the scene and down the tracks, Spivey said.
Spivey said his firefighters deployed sand, kitty litter and fabric dikes onto the spill, which spread probably 50 yards down the track.
No fuel leaked from the locomotive.
"They'll bring in a hazmat team to clean up," Spivey said.
Representatives from South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Darlington County Emergency Management Division and the Federal Railroad Administration all responded, as did the South Carolina Transport Police and South Carolina Highway Patrol.
Spivey said the tracks at the crossing were damaged in the crash and that Grant's Wrecker Equipment out of Mullins would have to pick up the logs off the tracks and then get the locomotive back on the rails.
"They'll be here all night," Spivey said.
East McIver Road will remain closed as long as the recovery effort continues, Spivey said.