LOUISIANA - Train With Hazardous Waste Derails, Evacuation 100 Residents

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Title: Train With Hazardous Waste Derails in Central Louisiana

The Associated Press 4/9/00 2:07 PM

OLLA, La. (AP) -- A Union Pacific Railroad train pulling 91 cars containing hazardous waste derailed Sunday, forcing the evacuation of about 100 residents of this small central Louisiana town.

Most were allowed back to their homes five hours after the 8 a.m. derailment because experts determined no waste had spilled, said Trooper Steve Childress of the Louisiana State Police.

Twenty two of the 24 cars that jumped the tracks overturned. Authorities closed several roads near the LaSalle Parish town as a precaution.

The train's cars had been picked up empty from factories around the country. Each carried up to 500 gallons of residue of a variety of substances considered toxic, flammable or a threat to the environment, Childress said.

"They're all pretty bad stuff," Childress said.

The cause of the accident was under investigation.

The train was approaching Olla, a town of 1410 about 40 miles north of Alexandria, when the accident happened.

Childress said the train's engineer applied emergency brakes just before the cars derailed, but it wasn't clear why. The train's engine and some cars directly behind it did not derail. None of the train's operators were hurt.

Copyright 2000 Associated Press.



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