Baltimore train fire disrupts WorldCom service

A fire caused by the derailment of a 60-car freight train in Baltimore yesterday knocked off or interrupted Internet and data service to some WorldCom Inc. customers in the Northeast corridor from Washington to New York.

Jennifer Baker, a WorldCom spokeswoman, said the fire that resulted from the wreck of the CSX Corp. train, which included a number of chemical tankers, spread to a tunnel and damaged one of UUNet's nearby routers, knocking some customers off-line beginning late yesterday afternoon. UUNet, WorldCom's Ashburn, Virginia-based Internet subsidiary, provides Internet services to business customers worldwide.

Baker said she didn't know how many customers were affected.

"As of noon today, service to the majority of the traffic was restored," she said. "And crews will continue to work until all service is restored."

Baker said service was restored in one of three ways: Workers rerouted service to alternative paths on the network; they laid down new, temporary cable; or service was restored automatically.

She said she didn't know when service would be completely restored.

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