US: Train derailment in Ohio sparks major fire, evacuations

8

Images from local news broadcasters showed a towering pillar of dark smoke and large flames from the site where a cargo train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio.

A large fire broke out after a train derailed in the US state of Ohio, with emergency crews continuing to battle the blaze on Saturday morning.

Authorities have urged locals to evacuate, while the contents of the cargo train remain unclear.

What we know about the fire so far

The cargo train derailed in the town of East Palestine, located close to Ohio’s border with Pennsylvania. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The incident occurred on Friday night, with fire crews continuing to battle the blaze into the early hours of Saturday morning.

Local news broadcaster KDKA-TV posted images of the accident site on social media, showing flames engulfing several train cars.

In one post by KDKA-TV reporter Jennifer Borrasso, police officers could be seen driving down roads near the accident site, with officers urging people to evacuate their homes.

East Palestine city officials issued an evacuation order for an area of 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) around the accident site.

Journalists reported that emergency crews wearing hazmat suits were on the scene, although there was no immediate information on the contents of the cargo train.

Authorities have not yet commented on what caused the train to derail.

The tower of smoke could be seen from miles away and was strong enough to appear on KDKA-TV’s weather radar, according to the station’s meteorologist Ray Petelin.

Norfolk Southern Railway said in a statement that the company was responding to the derailment and that its “personnel are currently on-site coordinating closely with first responders.”

Last June, several passengers were killed in the US state of Missouri when an Amtrak passenger train derailed after colliding with a truck.

Source Deutsche Welle