60 Car Train Derails North of Castleberry

CASTLEBERRY, Ala. (AP) - Hazardous materials teams were called to the scene of a train derailment in Conecuh County when one of the cars leaked a toxic chemical, forcing local residents to evacuate.

There were no immediate reports of any injuries.

Meg Sacks, spokeswoman for CSX Transportation, which owns the train, said 26 of the train's 66 cars left the tracks about 12:30 pm just north of Castleberry. She said two of the train cars was leaking phenol, a toxic chemical.

Phenol in the air can cause respiratory irritation, according to federal health officials. Castleberry Police Chief Vince Heath said the chemical was not airborne but that there was still a risk of inhalation danger through direct contact.

Heath said this evening that part of County Road 6 in downtown Castleberry and some small surrounding streets were still closed.

Residents who live within a half mile radius of the spill were still not allowed to return to their homes, Heath said. He said the Red Cross was providing shelter for them.

The cause of the derailment was not immediately clear.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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