A derailed train in Louisiana has leaked toxic chemicals, causing the evacuation of several hundred people from more than one hundred homes.
Union Pacific Railways said the chemical is sodium hydroxide, which can be lethal if inhaled, though no air pollution has been detected as of yet. State Governor Bobby Jindal said:
“Anytime you have chemicals leaking into the environment, that’s a serious issue. Nobody knows the extent of the damage we’ll get to that in the next 24 hours.” (source)
More than 20 cars derailed in the incident west of Baton Rouge at 3:30 pm local time. Some of those carriages were carrying other hazardous chemicals such as vinyl chloride, but they are not leaking at this point.
State police have said the road nearest the track will be closed for at least two days.
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