Freight train derails in Washington, cars leaking hazardous chemicals

Reuters News
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Posted: May 01, 2016 9:18 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A CSX freight train derailed on Sunday morning in northeastern Washington DC, with several cars overturned and leaking hazardous liquids near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro Station, the District of Columbia Fire Department tweeted.

The Metro station and Rhode Island Avenue were closed as three cars were leaking liquids, the tweet said. It did not identify the substance, but said there was no fire.

Photos on the fire department's twitter account showed several cars lying on their sides by the tracks on the main train route into the city, including tank cars, bulk material cars and box cars.

WUSA Television said that no injuries were reported.

In a Twitter message, CSX Corp <CSX.O> said: "CSX personnel are working with DC first responders on a derailment at 9th and RI Ave NE. No injuries reported."

A fire department spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

NBC4 Television reported that at least one of the leaking chemicals is sodium hydroxide, citing multiple sources at the scene.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, sodium hydroxide is a caustic soda, similar to lye. It is a colorless to white, odorless and solid at room temperature, usually stored as flakes, beads or in granular form.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Louise Ireland)