CA, Anaheim -- Train Carrying Chemicals Derails; Day-Care Evacuated : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


Train Carrying Chemicals Derails in Anaheim; Day-Care Evacuated Six cars jump the tracks. "There was a big huge noise," says center director.

By TAMI MIN, YOUNG CHANG, Special to The Times March 17, 2000

Police evacuated nearly a dozen children from a church after-school program Thursday after a freight train transporting potentially hazardous materials derailed in Anaheim, authorities said. No injuries were reported. Six cars of a northbound Union Pacific Railroad train jumped the tracks near the 200 block of East Palais Road at 5:45 p.m., investigators said. The cause of the derailment had not been determined Thursday night. A hazardous materials team was sent to the scene to check for leaks from the cars, some of which were carrying acid and other potentially hazardous liquids, police said.

Anaheim Police Sgt. Joe Vargas said a power line was knocked down by the incident and the area evacuated as a precaution. He said the accident did not affect Metrolink or Amtrak commuter trains, which use different tracks.

Those nearby said the wreck shook the ground. "There was a big huge noise," said Gigi Oskorus, director of the children's program at Calvary Chapel, which operates a day-care center. About 10 children were waiting to be picked up by family members when the accident happened, she said.

"We won't be able to open tomorrow" because of the possibility of lingering fumes, she said. "We probably have over 150 parents to call." Teacher Carolyn Parsons, who helped lead the children from the crash site, said, "It sounded like a big earthquake." Where the power line was damaged, she said, "the transformers started exploding," emitting a hissing sound.

Susan Mount, whose child is a kindergartner at the school, arrived on the scene shortly after the accident.

"I'm just glad it didn't happen during school hours," she said.

Copyright 2000 Los Angeles Times

-- (, March 18, 2000

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