Train Carrying Hazardous Materials Derails In Central Illinois

PARIS, Ill. (AP) -- A freight train carrying hydrochloric acid derailed Wednesday in central Illinois, forcing residents to evacuate homes and businesses in a one-square-mile area around the tracks, officials said.

Fourteen cars of a 55-car CSX Transportation Inc. train went off the tracks about a mile north of downtown Paris around 8 a.m., said CSX spokesman Tom Livingston. He said the derailment caused one car to leak hydrochloric acid and two engines to leak fuel.

No one was injured, but authorities ordered about 250 people to evacuate nearby homes and businesses as a precaution, Paris Police Chief Ron Humphrey said.

Hydrochloric acid can cause severe burns in its liquid form and respiratory problems when the vapor is inhaled.

The hydrochloric acid stopped visibly leaking Wednesday afternoon and some of the residents were allowed to return home, Livingston said.

CSX crews were sent to Paris to fix the leaks and investigate the cause of the derailment, Livingston said. He said the train was en route from Decatur to Indianapolis with three crew members.