Transcript for Freight train derails in Illinois, sparking flames and black smoke
We are also following emergency evacuations under way tonight after a major train derailment near St. Louis. Here are the pictures. At least 18 cars off the tracks carrying flammable liquid, catching fire. Thick black smoke rising into the sky. Nearby neighborhoods and schools have been evacuated, and a special hazmat team has rushed to the scene. Here's ABC's Alex Perez. Reporter: The sky-high flames and billowing black smoke could be seen for miles. All members respond for a train derailment with fire. Reporter: A union pacific freight train in southern Illinois, just outside of St. Louis, derailing at about 12:45 this afternoon. 18 cars jumping the tracks. Crews racing to the scene, battling the flames, coping with 90-degree temperatures and strong fumes. I'm trying to get somebody on that scene, just trying to make sure our trucks don't drive right in the middle of a cloud. Reporter: Some of those train cars carrying a chemical solvent. Authorities hosing down cars and smaller fires ignited by the flammable liquid. Authorities evacuating 1,500 people from three communities and several schools. Teams eventually extinguishing the blaze. Someone's going to have to clean this up. Reporter: David, authorities say the train was still in the freight yard preparing for a departure when it derailed. What triggered the incident, now under investigation. But luckily, authorities say no one was injured. David? Alex Perez tonight. Thank you.
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