Fiery aftermath of train derailment in IL

  • Fiery aftermath of train derailment in IL

Fiery aftermath of train derailment in IL

A freight train believed to be bearing a flammable liquid used in solvents derailed in an IL 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.

Kristen South, senior director of corporate communications for Union Pacific, said around 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, 14 rail cars derailed in the Dupo Yard near Carondelet Avenue between N. Main Street and Adams Road. "Initial information indicates the tank auto contained a flammable liquid called methyl isobutyl ketone, which is typically used as a solvent", South explains.

Schools and residences in the area had to be evacuated due to the exposure to methyl isobutly ketone, which can reportedly cause skin rashes.

At least 16 train cars are believed to have derailed.

The frightening incident occurred at around 12:45 p.m. and caused a tank auto to catch fire, Kristen M. South, a representative for Union Pacific tells PEOPLE. It is typically used as a solvent. Tuesday's derailment sparked a massive fire in a train yard near Dupo that sent a dark plume of smoke in the sky that could be seen for miles.

Union Pacific is working with area first responders to put out the fire. Our yard and nearby intermodal ramp were safely evacuated.

Authorities said they are not aware of any injuries at the moment.

Harrowing videos from the scene show plumes of black smoke rising from the tracks visible for miles. Despite the fire, chemicals, and the lingering summer heat, no injuries or illnesses were reported. Police also said a few hundred residents of a mobile home park and a subdivision near the tracks have also been evacuated.

This is a breaking news story.