MARTIN, S.C. — CSX is offering a $10,000 reward for information to help determine what caused a train derailment and hydrochloric acid release last week in Allendale County.
But neither the railroad nor the FBI will discuss whether they think the tracks or train might have been sabotaged.
CSX first offered the reward Wednesday, eight days after the derailment. “Safety is CSX’s first priority and we are committed to assisting in the federal investigation however we can,” spokeswoman Kristin Seay said in an email.
She wouldn’t discuss any evidence about the cause of the wreck or what investigators have found. The FBI in Columbia referred all questions back to the railroad.
The train derailed Jan. 27 after running off the main line and into parked train cars on a side track at a chemical plant in Martin, about 10 miles north of Allendale on state Highway 125. No serious injuries or deaths were reported, but the nearby plant was evacuated for about a day because of the leaking acid.
State investigators have said the rail line was controlled by a nearby manual switch.
The derailment was similar to a train wreck that happened 10 years ago about 40 miles away in Graniteville. In the January 2005 wreck, a crew parking a train at a textile mill’s side track forgot to flip the switch back and a through train plowed into a parked train. A chorine gas leak from the derailment killed nine people.