Associated Press
Residents of Lady of the Oaks Retirement Manor are evacuated Saturday May 17, 2008 after authorities issued a mandatory evacuation order for about 3,000 residents who live within a one-mile radius of an early morning train derailment in Lafayette. La. The train was leaking hydrochloric acid.

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Two rail cars have jumped the track and overturned in southern Louisiana, leaking hydrochloric acid and forcing police to evacuate thousands of residents within a 1-mile of the accident.

Lafayette Corporal Paul Mouton says a total of six cars derailed around 2:20 a.m. Saturday, and two of them began to leak. Authorities are asking residents to leave.

Mouton says local firefighters and state police are on the scene.

Mouton says the area is mostly businesses, but there's also a few apartment complexes and a nursing home. He estimates thousands will have to be evacuated.