A leak of hydrochloric acid generated alarm in the community, for which the emergency teams announced the evacuation because it is a caustic and highly corrosive chemical, which means that it causes serious and immediate damage to tissues, such as burns, on contact.
Residents of a Louisiana parish were evacuated after a train derailment caused an acid leak, authorities said.
Louisiana State Police said crews were on scene Wednesday afternoon assessing the derailment in St. James Parish, located about 50 miles west of New Orleans.
The derailment resulted in an acid leak and residents in the immediate area were evacuated, the St. James Parish government said.
The impacted railcar contained approximately 20,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid, according to Louisiana State Police.
“Hazardous materials teams, rail staff, parish officials and others are assessing the extent of a railcar leak,” Louisiana State Police said in a statement.
“Crews will continue to monitor the leak with perimeter air monitoring…expect a prolonged cleanup,” police added.
All streets within the exclusion zone are closed, the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office said.
“If you have elderly families that don’t have social media, please reach out to them and ask them to evacuate,” the sheriff’s office said on social media.
A shelter has been set up at a local senior center for those who live within the evacuation zone.
Authorities did not say what caused the derailment or identify the rail company involved.
“Further details will be released as information is confirmed by emergency response personnel,” Louisiana State Police said.
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