A train and an 18-wheeled wagon collided at a stairway crossing in Texas, causing a derailment and fire spreading to a nearby home.
The accident occurred at a crossing near Cameron in Milam County at around 6:45 a.m.
“There were some hazardous materials a little further out, so thankfully we saved this material,” said Chris White, the Sheriff of Milam County.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokeswoman Amy Casas confirmed that the mixed-load train derailed, with initial reports indicating that the train had collided with a semi-truck, affecting a vehicle carrying petrol.
The association confirmed that the car that was hit and set fire to four others, and 13 out of 110 cars derailed.
“The BNSF (railways) appeared very quickly and separately and transported dangerous goods out of range of fire,” White said. “The train was carrying coal and gasoline in the front compartments and this caused a huge fire and all the smoke.”
There were no injuries to the train crew or the truck driver.
The accident set fire to a nearby house, but everyone descended safely.
“We have some elderly people who we evacuated from their homes and it looks like one of the houses burned down and was close to the tracks, but other than that, everyone seems safe and fit,” White said.
Residents have been evacuated within a half-mile radius from their homes due to concerns about the fire and the potential presence of hazardous materials.
“There’s no longer a threat at this point. It’s just putting out the fire and cleaning up the mess,” White said.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is also present at the scene of the accident and will lead the investigation into the accident.
Fire units from Cameron and Milan were called to the scene.
The flames and smoke were visible from a distance.