Two thousand people forced to evacuate after a train derailment and fire had to stay away from their homes a second day Monday as firefighters waited for a car containing butane to stop burning.
There were no serious injuries, officials said.Mayor Don Plusquellic told a news conference Monday that residents probably would not be permitted to return to their homes until early this evening. The fire forced schools to close and bus service to be canceled in this city of 250,000.
R.L. Leckie, spokesman for CSX Transportation in Jacksonville, Fla., said 21 cars derailed Sunday night, nine of them tankers carrying butane. One caught fire immediately because the crash caused the shell of the tanker to break, he said.
Witnesses reported hearing an explosion.
"I was watching TV and I heard something and saw the whole sky light up," said Minnie Herrington, 40, who was brought to a shelter with her four children, ages 4 to 11.
"It sounded like a gunshot."
The fire in the first car is out, but adjacent tanker since has started burning from a valve and a small fire was spotted underneath a third car, officials said Monday. The fires were being allowed to burn themselves out.
"Tank cars have safety release valves on them, and if they're venting a flammable material and there's any fire in the area, obviously it's going to ignite," Leckie said.
Thirteen people were treated at Akron General Hospital, most suffering from inhalation of smoke and fumes. One man was admitted, in fair condition, after the fumes aggravated a breathing problem.