State and federal law enforcement agents were assisting local police and private security personnel in connection with a reported train incident in Hampton County, South Carolina on Friday afternoon, sources familiar with the situation told this news outlet.
Sources close to the scene indicated local law enforcement told them the incident was an attempted “train hijacking,” but there has been no official confirmation of that report.
“We’re aware of the incident, not sure what it’s categorized as yet,” one law enforcement source told me early Friday afternoon.
As of Friday afternoon, agents of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were assisting the Hampton County sheriff’s office and private security employed by CSX as they respond to the situation.
No details regarding the rumored train hijacking have been released, but the sheriff’s office posted a notification at around 2:00 p.m. EST alerting the public that there was “a gunman on the loose in the area” near the Canfor Southern Pine facility in Estill, S.C.
Two roads – Steep Bottom Road and Highway 321 – were blocked off in connection with the incident, according to that report..
Here is a look at a stopped train in Hampton County with a heavy law enforcement presence submitted by one of our readers …
Shortly after 7:00 p.m. EDT, the Hampton County sheriff’s office issued an update on the situation.
According to the update, a CSX conductor called to report “a man with a gun standing on the railroad tracks near Steep Bottom Road and Highway 321 in Estill.”
“According to the conductor, an armed gunman was seen standing on the tracks near the train,” the update continued. “It appears that this was an attempt to get on the train to gain access to the cargoes. There were damages made to the train’s outer cargo and several catalytic converters were removed from the new cars on the train. While checking the train to see if anyone onboard was hurt, deputies spotted three black males jumping off of the train with cutting tools.”
At that point, “a perimeter was established and dogs were called to track the suspects.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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