The good news: The tunnel is not on fire this time.
The bad news: A number of streets are closed after a CSX freight train derailed in the Howard Tunnel, including one rail car possibly containing hazardous materials. Police are recommending that drivers avoid “Cathedral at Mt. Royal Ave., Howard and John and N/B Howard St. at North Ave.”
The incident might cause flashbacks to the terrible 2001 Howard Tunnel Fire, in which 60 rail cars derailed, a huge fire raged in the tunnel for days, a burst water main flooded the city streets, and downtown Baltimore essentially was shut down. But in this case, officials are reporting no fire and no injuries. That’s lucky, since — as the Baltimore Sun reported in 2011 — hazardous chemicals still regularly travel through the downtown tunnel, and very little has changed safety-wise.
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