Neighbors recount train derailment, rescue of man

CSX Railroad repair crews worked late into the night after an early morning derailment in northwest Atlanta sent one man to the hospital Thursday.

App users: View full article here

Resident Valerie Cox and her family were startled out of their sleep when more than a dozen rail cars derailed around 3 a.m.

"It was a real loud boom like something had exploded that's how loud it sounded," said Cox.

The Atlanta Fire Department said 14 railcars of a 68 car CSX train derailed.

The cars were strewn about along an eighth of a mile of railway with one of the cars had smashed into a home on Andrews Street.

The man who lives next door said he and his uncle helped the homeowner after the crash.

"Half of the car was in his house. He was in the car. So me and my uncle we went over there and helped him out," said Jonathan Blackmon.

Blackmon said the victim ended up inside the empty rail car that smashed through the bedroom while the man was in bed. He and his uncle helped the injured homeowner out of the rail car by helping the man climb out on a ladder in the rail car.

"So we helped him step the steps, climb over and we held him from the back so he could come down the steps so he wouldn't fall. He was like help me man, please help me," said Blackmon.

The fire department said the lone victim of the derailment was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital with minor injuries. Neighbors said he is now recovering with family in South Carolina.

CSX, through a statement, said the train was traveling from Waycross, Georgia to Cincinnati, Ohio with a cargo of sand, carbon black used to make tires, and other bulk materials, but nothing toxic.

Eddie Willingham, who lives along the railroad tracks, said he's concerned after recent work on the tracks in recent weeks.

"He's lucky to be alive. God is on his side. God was on his side," said Blackmon.

The fire department and CSX said repairs to the railroad were expected to be completed around midnight and railway traffic was expected to resume by early Friday morning.