Illinois derailment prompts evacuation of schools, homes

National

Union Pacific workers and firefighters stage at the scene of a tanker fire from a derailed train near downtown Dupo, Ill. on Tuesday, Sept. 10. 2019. Black smoke coming from the derailment scene can be seen for miles and caused the evacuation of schools in the town, authorities said. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

DUPO, Ill. (AP) — A freight train bearing a flammable liquid used in solvents derailed in an Illinois suburb of St. Louis Tuesday, causing a fire that sent thick, black smoke into the air and prompted the evacuation of nearby schools and residences.

In a news release, Union Pacific says 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. The railroad 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.

Video shows more than 10 train cars derailed and flames shooting from the wreckage.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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