Railroad offering $20,000 reward

Friday, September 24, 2010

The investigation continues into a 2009 train derailment in western Greene County that cause an estimated $4 million in damages to train equipment, product being hauled, and to the environment.

Indiana Rail Road Company Attorney Kevin McShane, of Indianapolis, says there are some suspects in the case and information has been forwarded to the Greene County prosecutor's office for consideration of criminal charges.

"This is an ongoing investigation ... that has focused on a couple of individuals," he said.

McShane alleges that the railcars were deliberately tampered with in a criminal manner -- causing them to move out of control.

On July 7, 2009, at about 11:45 a.m., 70 cars loaded with potash and parked for long-term storage by The Indiana Rail Road Company on a unused railroad spur of the former No. 3 Kendall Mine, near Gilmour rolled away.

State police reported the railroad cars left their parked location and traveled under their own power southwest about 4.5 miles to the end of the spur line in eastern Sullivan County -- crossing several county roads in the process.

Once reaching the end of the line, the lead car hit a metal barrier at the end of the track, causing 22 cars to derail and overturn.

Potash is used as a crop fertilizer and as an additive in some animal feeds, according to Indiana Rail Road Company spokesman Chris Rund.

Indiana Rail Road Company is offering a $20,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Transportation Security Administration is working with ISP and railroad investigators to prosecute this case.

"The railroad is determined to have the person or persons that caused this be brought to justice," McShane told the Greene County Daily World.

He acknowledged that railroad property has been vandalized in the past, but he said the extend of this act was very serious.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Wabash Valley Crimestopper at 1-800-222-TIPS, FBI special agent Larry Atwell at (317) 716-1057 or Indiana Rail Road security administrator at (317) 616-3464.

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  • Though the RR probably has every right to leave their rail cars parked there but it seems to me they were negligent in not securing the car's brakes with locks or locking chocks on the rails at the down grade end. How do we know the cars did not simply roll away and the RR is trying to shift the blame? Any way you look at this the Indiana RR has a great deal of responsibility in this incident.

    -- Posted by keninman on Sun, Sep 26, 2010, at 8:40 AM
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