Police: Pine tree caused Millsboro freight train derailment

A freight train derailment in Millsboro early Sunday morning was caused by an upended pine tree, Delaware State Police announced Monday.

Investigators said the 70-car Norfolk Southern freight train derailed around 4 a.m. after the locomotive struck the uprooted tree, estimated to be three to four feet in diameter.

Recent heavy rains softened the soil underneath the tree, leading to its fall, according to authorities.

The crash caused the train to derail, forcing 15 cars off the tracks and causing them to spill their cargo of stone.

Though a quarter-mile section of railroad track was heavily damaged in the incident, neither the train conductor nor the onboard engineer reported injuries.

Cleanup at the site was still continuing Monday.

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