Fact Check

Is This Photo of a 2023 Florida Train Derailment Real?

The photograph was taken by a local journalist.

Published Mar 2, 2023

Image Via Reddit
A photo shows an actual train derailment in Sarasota, Florida, on Feb. 28, 2023.

On March 1, 2023, a photo was posted on Reddit that claimed to show a train derailment in Manatee County, Florida. We found it to be authentic.

"Train carrying over 30,000 gallons of propane derails in Manatee county Florida," the caption read. 

Train carrying over 30,000 gallons of propane derails in Manatee county Florida

The picture is real. We found it originally posted by Brittany Muller, a journalist who works for WFLA, a Tampa broadcast station.

The train derailed the day before the photo was posted. One car was carrying 30,000 gallons of liquid propane gas, which had not leaked, according to local paper Sarasota Herald-Tribune. No injuries were reported.

Several U.S. train derailments around that time — including one in East Palestine, Ohio — had people worried about the impacts they can have on their health, as well as the environment. PolitiFact reported in February 2023 that more than 1,000 train accidents happen every year in the U.S. 


Czopek, Madison. "Ask PolitiFact: We've seen reports of three train derailments this month. Is this normal?" PolitiFact, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.politifact.com/article/2023/feb/16/ask-politifact-weve-seen-reports-of-three-train-de/.

"Https://Twitter.Com/WFLABrittany/Status/1630656606835712006/Photo/2." Twitter, https://twitter.com/WFLABrittany/status/1630656606835712006/photo/2. Accessed 2 Mar. 2023.

Kwong, Emily, et al. "How the EPA Assesses Health Risks after the Ohio Train Derailment." NPR, 27 Feb. 2023, https://www.npr.org/2023/02/24/1159385101/how-the-epa-assesses-health-risks-after-the-ohio-train-derailment.

LaMagdeleine, Izz Scott. "2023 Ohio Train Derailment: Fact-Checking the Crash." Snopes, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/collections/ohio-train-derailment-2023/.

Pérez-Carrillo, Melissa. "Train Derailment of Propane Cars in Manatee County Draws Federal Attention. Here's What to Know." Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 1 March 2023, https://www.heraldtribune.com/story/news/local/2023/03/01/bradenton-florida-train-derailment-federal-investigation-vern-buchanan/69959604007/. 

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.

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