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Evacuations forced after acid leak

May 18, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

Six cars of a freight train derailed in the town of Lafayette, causing a hydrochloric acid leak that forced thousands of people to leave 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. Hydrochloric acid can cause respiratory problems and irritate the skin and eyes. According to the Texas-based BNSF Railway, an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 gallons of the acid were spilled.

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