LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Six cars of a freight train derailed Saturday, including one that began leaking hydrochloric acid, causing thousands of people to evacuate homes, businesses and a nursing home within one mile of the wreck.

The spilled acid sent a toxic cloud over the area, and at least five people, including two railroad workers, were taken to a hospital and treated after complaining of skin and eye irritation, said Lafayette Parish sheriff's Lt. Craig Stansbury.

A nursing home with 161 residents was evacuated, Dr. Jimmy Guidry, the state health officer, said. About 35 of the residents deemed too frail to travel were taken to area hospitals, he said.

An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 gallons of the acid was spilled, he said.