On March 25, 1998, about 4:48 a.m. eastern standard time, southbound Norfolk Southern Corporation (Norfolk Southern) train 255L5, which was en route to Fort Wayne, Indiana, struck eastbound Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) train TV 220, which was en route to Columbus, Ohio. The collision occurred where the Norfolk Southern Huntington District and the Conrail Chicago main lines cross at grade at the east end of the town of Butler, Indiana. Both locomotives and five cars from the Norfolk Southern train derailed, and three cars from the Conrail train, two with multiple stacked platforms, derailed. The Norfolk Southern conductor was killed; the engineer and student engineer sustained minor injuries. The two Conrail crewmembers were not injured.
No hazardous materials were released, but both Norfolk Southern locomotive fuel tanks ruptured and released approximately 7,000 gallons of fuel oil. Norfolk Southern estimated total damages of $264,000 ($187,000 to equipment, $18,000 to track and signals, and $59,000 to cargo). Conrail estimated total damages of $352,200 ($314,000 to equipment, $33,500 to track and signals, and $4,700 to cargo).