Thousands Evacuated After Train Derails In East Tennessee

Posted at 6:26 PM, Jul 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-30 19:43:39-04

MARYVILLE, Tenn. – Thousands of residents had to be evacuated from their homes after a train derailed in Blount County overnight.

The incident happened around midnight Thursday in Maryville, located about 20 miles south of Knoxville.

The CSX train was believed to be hauling liquid petroleum gas, which is flammable and poisonous. The train carrying the toxic chemicals reportedly derailed and caught fire. 

The chemical Acrylonitrile is apparently used to make plastics and rubber. When it burns, it produces deadly hydrogen cyanide.

At least 12 responding officers have been taken to an area hospital, where they were treated for exposure.

No residents were harmed in the incident. 

WVLT reports that it could be 48 hours before people are allowed back within a one mile radius of the crash site on Clydesdale street. 

The area was expected to remain off limits for quite some time.

The American Red Cross has reportedly set up shelter at a nearby high school.