PANOLA COUNTY, Mississippi. — The Train to Christmas Town, a holiday attraction in north Mississippi, derailed Thursday afternoon.
228 people were on the train at the time, according to Sheriff Dennis Darby with the Panola County Sheriff’s Office.
The train remained upright and was on an incline when it derailed on Highway 51 and Shiloh Road.
There was one woman who was on oxygen and had to be helped from the train, but there were no injuries, according to EMS Director Daniel Cole.
“Train had kind of just derailed a little bit but it wasn’t knocked off the track,” Todd Miles told FOX13.
Todd Miles manages the traffic for the train, he said it was a minor issue.
"We got there on the scene and responded quickly and made sure everybody was okay,” said Miles.
“The Train to Christmas Town” is a holiday attraction in Batesville for families to see Christmas lights and other activities.
Sheriff Darby told FOX13 that school buses were dispatched to pick up the families on board and take them back to headquarters.
Despite not making it to Christmas Town, passengers came off the train still in the Christmas spirit.
“Everybody was honestly in a good mood. They were still singing Christmas carols. They had, had enough time to decompress from when it happened,” said event manager Don Clayton.
Inspectors were out Friday morning to get the train back on the track and double checking that it is safe to run again.
Now, the attention will turn to making sure this doesn’t happen again.
“After this, the rails, the cars, the locomotives will be under a strict inspection,” said Clayton.
There’s a lot of speculation on how exactly the train derailed. Some reports say it happened because of two weak cross ties.
Clayton said the matter is under investigation and that the train will be inspected every day.
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