Two injured as freight train derails in
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[October 06, 2014]
(Reuters) - The conductor of a Union
Pacific freight train and an engineer on board were injured on Sunday
when it crashed into a tractor-trailer that was stuck on tracks in
northern Louisiana, a spokesman for Union Pacific said.
Two locomotives and 17 rail cars were derailed by the collision in
Mer Rouge, said spokesman Jeff DeGraff. Two of the cars were
carrying argon, a non-flammable refrigerated gas, and a three-block
evacuation was put in effect in the area.
"A hazardous material contractor is on site along with local fire
and law enforcement personnel monitoring the situation," DeGraff
said in a statement.
He said the conductor of the train was airlifted to a hospital in
Shreveport with serious, but not life-threatening, injuries, while
the engineer was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries. The
tractor-trailer driver was not hurt.
The train had been traveling north from Livonia, Louisiana, to North
Little Rock, Arkansas.
"Union Pacific has crews working to remove the cars that did not
derail, while simultaneously working to remove the cars and
locomotives that left the track," DeGraff said. "A timetable for
completion of this work has not been set."
Local media said about 50 homes and businesses in the area near the
two cars carrying argon were briefly evacuated, but that the
residents and employees were later allowed to return.
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The mayor of Mer Rouge, Johnny McAdams, told the News Star newspaper
the accident could have been much worse.
"We're lucky that wasn't one of our oil trains that we get 10 times
a day," McAdams said. "If it had been an oil train, we would have
had a fire and then we would have had fatalities."
(Reporting by Daniel Wallis in Denver; Editing by Eric Walsh)
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