FOX 29 Investigates: Documents Show What Feds Knew About Bridge - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

FOX 29 Investigates: Documents Show What Feds Knew About Condition Of Bridge

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A train with more than 80 cars derailed Friday morning in Paulsboro, New Jersey. A train with more than 80 cars derailed Friday morning in Paulsboro, New Jersey.
PHILADELPHIA -

FOX 29 Investigates has obtained inspection documents that reveal what the federal government knew about the condition of a bridge where a train derailed Friday morning in South Jersey.

FOX 29's Jeff Cole reports the bridge is known as a swing bridge. Apparently, there are not many left on the East Coast.

The bridge is largely wooden and its construction dates back to 1873.

The span is owned by Conrail, which is responsible for its maintenance and safety.

According to Jeff Cole, under federal guidelines, Conrail must do yearly inspections.

In 2009, the bridge collapsed as a train carried coal rumbled across, as shown in pictures published on the Paulsboro Fire Department website.

In that incident, 16 cars derailed at 4:30 a.m., blocking what's considered a vital route to area industries.

According to inspection records obtained by FOX 29 Investigates from the Federal Railroad Administration, the bridge was inspected in 2009, just two days after the derailment. According to the documents, the bridge was again inspected the following year, in January 2010.

Both times, the same federal inspector wrote "No Defects Noted."

FOX 29 also obtained accident reports for the 2009 derailment. The reports show that bridge owner, Conrail, reported nearly half a million dollars in track and structural damage.

The train's owner, Norfolk Southern, listed nearly $36,000 in equipment damage.

Now, the span is about to get another close look.

You can watch Jeff Cole's story in the video above.

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