Train Derailment Causes Massive Fire, Leading to School and Neighborhood Evacuations

Train derails catches fire in Illinois

A train derailed in southwestern Illinois Tuesday afternoon, sparking a huge fire that sent plumes of black smoke billowing into the air that could be seen in downtown St. Louis. Initial information from the scene indicates that the tank vehicle contains a flammable liquid called methyl isobutyl ketone.

There are several cars off the track and from a live stream it looks as if at least one vehicle is on fire.

In a news release, Union Pacific said that the train derailed at its yard at about 12:45 p.m.in the town of Dupo, about 8 miles (14 kilometers) south of St. Louis.

Schools in the area were being evacuated and power cut off in the neighborhood.

"First responders are on scene of a multiple train vehicle derailment on Carondelet Ave", according to a St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency Facebook post.

A massive train derailment in IL - which saw 14 freight cars fly off the tracks - led to numerous evacuations and a giant chemical fire on Tuesday, according to reports.

By about 3 p.m., officials said the fire had been extinguished and the people who were evacuated had been allowed to return to their homes. Despite the fire, chemicals, and the lingering summer heat, no injuries or illnesses were reported.

"They can replace all those rail cars", Simmons said.

At this time, the exact cause of the derailment remains under investigation. Union Pacific crews will work Tuesday night and early Wednesday to remove the derailed cars. Then they will inspect the track and make any needed repairs.

The main Union Pacific track was closed temporarily for the safety of first responders, according to South, but was reopened to train traffic a short time later.

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