Train hits tractor trailer in Somerset, causing fire

SOMERSET, Ky. (WKYT) - Emergency crews say the cab of a tractor trailer, hauling lighter fluid, caught fire after a train hit it Friday afternoon.

The Pulaski County Sheriff's Office says the train hit the tractor trailer on Highway 2227, near SomerSplash Waterpark.

Investigators say the tractor trailer was headed into Warner Fertilizer when it was hit by a southbound train. The impact caused several fires.

The crash actually left the cab of the truck on the west side of the tracks. Boxes of lighter fluid were scattered around the tracks.

"When I arrived on scene, there was fire probably 75 to 100 yards down both sides of the tracks, 35, 40 feet into the air," Chief Doug Baker of Somerset-Pulaski Special Response said. "Plus the locomotive that was struck was on up the tracks about half a mile, and it was on fire."

The fires have since been put out.

At one point, there were discussions about evacuating the water park, but that never happened.

On the train, just a few cars from the fire, was a UPS trailer loaded with black powder, but the fire never made it that far.

"Luckily that didn't happen thanks to the quick efforts of the local fire departments," Baker said.

Investigators say the driver of the tractor trailer suffered serious injuries and burns, and was airlifted to a Lexington hospital.

The crash is being investigated by both the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office and Norfolk Southern Railroad.

Norfolk Southern had to bring in a new engine to move the train because of the damage caused by the crash.

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