LILBURN, Ga. (AP) -- An off-duty Georgia police officer rescued two men from a train derailment that caught fire, authorities said.
Lilburn Police Officer Almedin Ajanovic was heading home from an off-duty job around 1:30 a.m. Sunday when he heard about the CSX derailment through the radio dispatch, news outlets reported.
Police Spokesman Capt. Scott Bennett said Ajanovic changed directions and headed toward the scene, meeting up with three officers who were already canvassing the area and looking for the derailed train.
An incident report said Ajanovic ran down the tracks with a flashlight and soon heard an explosion and watched huge flames reach toward the sky.
About a half-mile down the track, Ajanovic spotted the engine turned over on its side and resting in a body of water, the report said. Red liquid oozed out of the train into the water, later causing an evacuation of the area.
Bennett said Ajanovic heard the voices of the two men and climbed on top of the train to go get them.
One of the men was the conductor. He told Ajanovic that he and the other man were the only people in the overturned car and that the train was carrying hazardous material, the report said.
Bennett said Ajanovic rescued the men, bypassing a 'danger high voltage' sign on the side of the train. Both men received medical treatment.
Gwinnett County officials said crews controlled the fire and hazardous materials. Residents were allowed to return to their homes around 5:30 a.m.
Police said a washout caused by storms and flooding caused the CSX train to leave the tracks and derail 38 of the 170 cars.
Ajanovic told WSB-TV that he was glad the rescued men were able to go back to their families.
Lilburn Mayor Tim Dunn said he was proud of the police department and "individuals like AJ Ajanovic who run toward danger to assist those in trouble."