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400 Ohio homes evacuated after train chemical leak

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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Flammable chemical leaks from train tanker at rail yard in Willard, Ohio
  • More than 400 homes evacuated, city manager says
  • Spill contained Wednesday morning; officials hoped to get people back in homes soon

By Marlena Baldacci

More than 400 homes were evacuated in a small northern Ohio community overnight after a train tanker began leaking a flammable chemical late Tuesday, a city official said.

A 26,000-gallon tanker began leaking styrene monomer after a derailment at a train yard in Willard, City Manager Brian Humphress said Wednesday morning.

Because the chemical is highly flammable, officials ordered the evacuation of more than 400 homes in and near the city -- in about a half-mile radius from the rail yard, Humphress said.

The spill was contained around 4:20 a.m. ET Wednesday, and officials hoped to get people back into their homes by late Wednesday morning, Humphress said. No injuries were reported; details about what led to the derailment weren't immediately available.

A private contractor was handling the cleanup in the community, where about 6,000 people live. State environmental officials were monitoring the scene, Humphress said.

Styrene is a synthetic chemical used to manufacture plastics, rubber and resins, according to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
   
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