3,500 evacuated as derailed train leaks acid in US

May 18th, 2008 - 8:35 am ICT by admin  

Washington, May 17 (Xinhua) About 3,500 people were evacuated in Lafayette in the US state of Louisiana after a derailed freight train began leaking acid, the police said late Saturday. Six cars of the freight train derailed early Saturday and one of them began leaking hydrochloric acid, which was believed to cause respiratory problems and skin and eye irritation.

An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 gallons of the acid has been spilled from the train, the police said, adding that homes, business and two nursing homes in a 1.6-km radius of the accident spot with an estimated population of 3,500 people were evacuated.

The spilled acid formed a toxic cloud over the area, and at least five people were taken to a hospital for treatment, said Craig Stansbury, an official of the Lafayette Parish sheriff’s office.

“We’re advising them to take enough supplies for approximately 48 hours,” he said.

The US railway administration will investigate into the accident.

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