Train Derailment, Explosion Near Arcadia, Ohio Forces Evacuations

A <"">train derailment and explosion near Arcadia, in Hancock County, Ohio has resulted in the evacuation of about 20 homes. According to local media reports, the 62-car Norfolk Southern train was transporting ethanol, and the 18 cars involved in the Ohio train derailment carried 320,000 gallons of the highly volatile chemical.

Norfolk Southern says the train was headed from Chicago to North Carolina on an east-west line when it derailed at 2:20 a.m. this morning. Fortunately, no injuries were reported. Witnesses reported hearing multiple explosions after the Ohio train derailment, some of which shook nearby homes. A fireball could be seen from up to 15 miles away.

According to the Associated Press, about 20 homes were evacuated in the area about two miles west of the village of Arcadia, but it was unclear exactly how many people were in those homes. According to the Toledo Blade, some Ohio train derailment evacuees were taken to Arcadia United Methodist Church, while others were taken to Arcadia Trinity Lutheran Church.

“We’ve evacuated several homes in the one-mile-square area,” Hancock County Sheriff Michael Heldman said, according to 670KBOI. “We’re asking everybody to stay away from that area.”

The fire was still burning at 7:30 a.m., and the burning cars have been separated from the rest of the train. Crews are trying to determine whether to pour foam onto the blaze or let it burn out, according to a report from WTVG-TV in Toledo. One hundred firefighters from surrounding departments responded to the scene in Cass Township, just northwest of Arcadia. Flames were so intense that emergency crews were forced to remain at least a mile away for safety reasons.

Waterways in the area were being tested Sunday morning by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to see if there was any contamination, and there are plans for air monitoring. Firefighters were also placing dikes in nearby streams to prevent contamination.

It is not yet known what caused the Ohio train derailment, but there is some speculation that heavy snowfall in the area over the past day could have played some role in the accident.

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