Explosion Follows Texas Train Crash

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September 10, 2001 JACKSONVILLE, Texas (AP) via NewsEdge Corporation -

A freight train crashed into another, stopped train Friday, triggering an explosion on a tank car and forcing evacuations of nearby homes.

A locomotive conductor was taken to a hospital with minor injuries. About 300 people were evacuated from a 1{-mile area in East Texas, with most allowed to return to their homes by daybreak.

Seven cars derailed when a Union Pacific train traveling from Bloomington to Little Rock, Ark., ran into the back of a stopped train at 12:20 a.m., Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis said.

Five of the cars that derailed were empty, Davis said. One of the empty cars clipped the tanker, triggering the blast and fire, he said.

The tank car contained 20,000 gallons of acetone, a mild irritant, said Dale Vodak, an emergency response worker. Smoke and vapor from the fire posed little public risk, and the spilled chemical apparently caused only low levels of contamination, he said.

The accident happened four miles east of Jacksonville, about 100 miles southeast of Dallas.

-- Rich Marsh (marshr@airmail.net), September 10, 2001

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