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Freight train derails near Elgin, Illinois, with hazardous chemicals possible

Bryan Alaspa's picture

A freight train has derailed near the northwestern Chicago suburb of Elgin and several cars are burning, which is leading to worries about hazardous chemicals on board.

The train is a Canadian National train. The train is known to be carrying at least three different types of hazardous chemicals. The train flew off the rails and crashed at about 5 a.m. this morning near Bartlett, which is right near Elgin.

According to media reports, the exact location of the derailment is near Lambert Lane and Spaulding Road. The three chemicals are organic acid, ferrous sulfate and sodium hydroxide. There are roughly 18 cars currently derailed and most of them are on fire. This is raising concerns over which chemical might be the most dangerous if inhaled.

Reports initially were that the accident happened in a mostly industrial area. However, calls to local news stations in Chicago have indicated that there might be residences closer to this accident than first thought. As of right now, however, no evacuations have been ordered for the area.

Hazmat crews were reportedly on the scene. There were no reports of injuries at this time. Firefighters from several surrounded communities had reportedly been called and were headed to the scene. There were also reports of a possible gas leak caused, in part, by the train derailment.

The accident is affecting the Chicago commuter rail system known as Metra. All Milwaukee District West line trains were being held at the Big Timber station and would be until further notice.

Elgin, Illinois, is roughly 40 miles northwest of Chicago.


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
HazMat Experts and Firefighters petition Dow Chemical and Union Pacific for safe rail tank cars transporting gas chlorine. Secondary containment is a necessary improvement that must be implemented. See--PETITION C KIT for First Responders Comments.

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