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Train derailment threatens wildlife in Dismal Swamp Refuge

June 27 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

SUFFOLK, VA — Officials are concerned about the environmental effects after a train derailed in the middle of the Dismal Swamp.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the coal train left the tracks in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia early Tuesday.

The derailment is still being cleaned up and has raised concerns about the impact on various forms of wildlife, including endangered species.

Refuge manager Chris Lowie said the Norfolk Southern train is “literally right in the middle of the swamp.”

The coal that was being transported is a fine material, almost like sand. The refuge is home to endangered species such as long-eared bats and red-cockaded woodpeckers. But the coal will most likely impact aquatic species such as snakes and turtles.

Norfolk Southern said in a statement that the coal spill “is confined to a relatively small area” adjacent to the tracks of the forested wetland.


June 27
8:00 am - 5:00 pm