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Train derailment in Maryville, 2 mile radius evacuated

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  About 5,000 people were evacuated early Thursday morning in response to a train derailment and dangerous chemical fire in East Tennessee.

The Blount County Sheriff’s Office says a CSX train hauling toxic chemicals derailed near the Old Mt. Tabor Road crossing in Maryville at around midnight. One of the train’s nine cars reportedly left the track and caught fire.

The train is said to be carrying a clear, colorless, toxic, highly flammable liquid called Acrylonitrile.

The Maryville Daily Times reports that at around sunrise this morning the evacuation area around the derailment was expanded from one to two miles. Evacuees are being housed at a local high school and a local mall.

Tennessee Emergency Management’s Dean Fleenor says some first responders were taken to a local hospital.

“There have been no fatalities, no injuries, except for about ten first responders who have been treated for exposure. I believe they may have inhaled, but they’re being monitored. They may have inhaled some of the chemical.”

TEMA says the toxic chemical makes the blaze too dangerous to fight, so fire crews will let the Acrylonitrile burn away.