Melissa Smith via AP
EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — A train derailed and led to a massive fire that prompted an Ohio village near the Pennsylvania state line to issue an evacuation order Friday night, blanketing the area in columns of lit smoke. bright orange by the flames below.
About 50 carriages derailed in East Palestine when a train was carrying a variety of goods from Madison, Illinois, to Conway, Pennsylvania, railroad operator Norfolk Southern said in a statement Saturday. There was no immediate information on what caused the derailment. No injuries have been reported.
Local officials informed residents that evacuation orders were still in place Saturday morning for people within a mile of the scene. A high school and community center have been opened to shelter dozens of people, while residents outside that radius are advised to stay indoors.
Several dozen residents sheltered at the high school including Ann McAnlis, who said a neighbor texted her about the accident.
McAnlis told WFMJ-TV: “She took a photo of the light in the sky from the front porch. “That’s when I knew how important this was.”
Mayor Trent Conaway told reporters that firefighters from three states responded to the derailment about 51 miles (82 km) northwest of Pittsburgh and within 20 miles (32 km) of Cape Roll. North West Virginia saucepan.
Conaway said the single-digit freezing temperatures complicated the response when the water pump trucks froze.
He said Hazmat teams were also on the scene to determine if hazardous materials were involved.
Norfolk Southern said it has staff on site to coordinate with first responders.
The fire produced so much smoke that meteorologists in the area said it could be seen on weather radar.