Fire on derailed US train triggers mass evacuations
A freight train carrying a flammable liquid used in solvents derailed in an Illinois suburb of St Louis, causing a fire that sent thick, black smoke into the air and prompted the evacuation of nearby schools and residences.
Rail company Union Pacific says that the train derailed at its yard in the town of Dupo, about 14 kilometres south of St Louis.
Footage more than 10 freight carriages derailed and flames shooting from the wreckage.
The company says initial information indicates that the tank car that first caught fire contains a flammable liquid called methyl isobutyl ketone that is typically used as a solvent.
Union Pacific spokeswoman Kristen South said the smoke from the fire does not pose a significant health hazard.
But Dupo Police said as a precaution that students at a grade school, junior high school and high school have been evacuated to a high school farther away.
Police also said a few hundred residents of a mobile home park and a subdivision near the tracks have also been evacuated
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