Late Night Train Derailment Leaks Toxic Fumes

May 18, 2008

In Lafayette, Louisiana, on Saturday, more than 3,000 people were evacuated after two derailed train cars containing highly corrosive hydrochloric acid began leaking. Nursing home residents were evacuated soon after the derailment. The cars jumped the track about 2:30 in the morning leading to 3,500 homes, businesses and a nursing home being evacuated within a 1-mile area after toxic fumes rose from the site.

Residents will be allowed to return home after the spill is contained safely and not posing a threat to anyone, which will take a day or two, said a spokesman for BNSF Railway. A shelter was set up at Carencro High School.

Residents outside the evacuation area were advised to close windows and doors and turn off air conditioning to avoid any possible effects from the spill.