CIU campus safe following train derailment

February 08, 2020

The Columbia International University campus is safe following the derailment of a Norfolk Southern train at the edge of campus along the Broad River.

Local media report that on Friday Feb. 7, a train struck a tree on the tracks causing three engines and eight other cars to derail. There were no injuries to the crew, and there is no danger to the campus as repair crews worked into Saturday to replace sections of the track. Large flatbed tractor-trailers were seen around campus as new rails were delivered through campus to the crash site.

Meanwhile, CIU’s dining hall operated by Hallmark Dining Services, delivered 50 Saturday breakfasts to the Norfolk Southern repair crew and lunch for 50 was on the way that afternoon.

CIU students were informed to stay away from the crash site for their safety as the repair crews operate heavy equipment about a half mile downhill from the center of campus.  

CIU Executive Vice President Rick Christman surveyed the crash scene noting that safety of the students, faculty and staff is a #1 priority for CIU.

It’s uncertain what caused the trees to fall on the tracks, but heavy rain and high winds from severe thunderstorms toppled a number of trees in the Columbia area.