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Train Derails, Catches Fire South Of Louisville January 16, 2007

Posted by notapundit in US News.
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SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (AP)–Several train cars, including at least one carrying liquid propane gas, derailed and exploded south of Louisville Tuesday, shutting down a nearby highway and forcing evacuations of homes, businesses and a school, authorities said.

The wreck occurred about 8:50 a.m. EST, said Kentucky State Police dispatcher Joey Mattingly. The cause was under investigation.

CSX Corp. (CSX) spokesman Gary Sease said the fire produced a massive column of black smoke in the mostly rural area.

Sease said the train – with four locomotives and 80 cars – was headed to Louisville from Birmingham, Ala. At least three cars carried liquid propane gas, he said. Forty-one cars were loaded with freight and the rest were empty, he said.

A spokeswoman for Jewish Hospital Medical Center South in northern Bullitt County says five people are being treated for the effects of chemicals from the train derailment and fire.

None of those taken to the medical center have life-threatening injuries.

The immediate area, including Brooks Elementary School, was evacuated, said state police Maj. Lisa Rudzinsky. She did not give the radius of the affected area, which has a mixture of residential, industrial and rural properties.

Authorities also shut down an 18-mile stretch of Interstate 65, Mattingly said.

The Kentucky National Guard said it mobilized 20 to 25 soldiers and airmen to check air quality.

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