US Cargo Train Derails, Causing Massive Fire

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AFP

New York: A cargo train derailed in the midwestern United States, sparking a massive fire and evacuation orders, officials and reports said on Saturday.

No injuries or fatalities were reported after the 50-car train came off the tracks late Friday near the Ohio-Pennsylvania state border.

The train was shipping cargo from Madison, Illinois, to Conway, Pennsylvania, when it derailed in East Palestine, Ohio.

Several explosions were heard as the cars continued to burn into Saturday, according to local media.

Low temperatures hampered the effort, as fire trucks pumping water froze up.

Officials said the train was carrying the chemical vinyl chloride, NBC's local affiliate WFMJ-TV reported.

Firefighters wore hazmat suits as they tackled the blaze.

Roughly 2,000 residents -- about half of the town's population -- were asked by authorities to evacuate their homes.

Officials asked anyone living within a one-mile (1.6-kilometer) radius of the scene to leave. They also enforced a shelter-in-place order for the entire town.

'We cannot stress enough that we need everyone to stay away from the scene,' East Palestine's town manager wrote in a letter posted on Facebook.


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