A train car loaded with lumber rolled from a side track onto a main line and hit a stationary commuter train during rush hour Tuesday afternoon, sending dozens of people to hospitals, authorities said.
About 150 people were treated at the scene, and about 80 of those were sent on to hospitals, said Lt. John Hutchinson of the Canton Fire Department. None of the injuries was life-threatening, he said.
The commuter train's locomotive was not moving when it was hit by a CSX freight car that rolled about 2 miles from where it had been parked at a lumber yard, said Joe Pesaturo, spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
The commuter train's engineer was alerted by a track signal that something was on the line and was able to stop before the crash, Pesaturo said. He was among the injured.
About 300 people were on the train, which had left from Boston's South Station and was on its way to Stoughton, a southern suburb.
Passenger, Gary Rozenas, 55, told the Boston Herald that the crash ignited a small brush fire.
"All the lights went out and people were flying down the aisles and people were on the floor of the car," he said. "The car began filling up with dust and the scary part was part of the woods was burning up outside the doors."
‘Oh my God, what happened?’
Another passenger, 42-year-old Tony Phillips, told The Boston Globe the train stopped suddenly as it approached a station.
"All the sudden, there was a bang. ... People were screaming, 'Oh my God, what happened?'" he said.
The flat car had been placed at a customer's location earlier in the day, said CSX spokesman Gary Sease. The company is cooperating as authorities investigate how the car came loose, he said.
"Our first concerns are the safety of the passengers and train crew," Sease said.
Commuter service resumed Tuesday evening between Boston, Attleboro and Providence, R.I., on the line, Pesaturo said, but passengers were being bused between Canton and Stoughton as crews worked to separate the freight car from the locomotive.