A train derailment in the U.S. state of Kentucky on Wednesday afternoon caused a molten sulphur fire that may emit toxic fumes, sparking evacuation of local residents, local media reported.
The derailment occurred north of Livingston in Rockcastle County in the southeastern part of Kentucky at around 2:23 p.m. Wednesday, and involved 16 cars, two of which were carrying molten Sulphur, according to railroad operator CSX Transportation.
Spilling of molten Sulphur sparked a fire. Molten Sulphur is known to release Sulphur dioxide when it burns.
Kentucky Emergency Management officials confirmed that the towns of Livingston and Piney Branch have been evacuated. Livingston has a population of approximately 200 residents.
No one was hospitalized as a result of the derailment, said Kentucky Emergency Management officials. But one member of the two-person crew was treated at the scene for minor injuries.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has declared a state of emergency after the train derailment, and specialized equipment has been deployed to the derailment area to conduct air monitoring.
The fire was 50 percent contained as of 8 a.m. Thursday, local media reported. Firefighters hope to have the fire completely contained by the end of the day.
The train derailment in Kentucky is the latest across the country this year. An Amtrak passenger train carrying more than 200 passengers derailed in Michigan last week after striking a vehicle on the tracks, injuring 11 people. In February, a Norfolk Southern freight train carrying toxic chemicals including carcinogenic vinyl chloride derailed in Ohio.