5,000 Evacuated in Tennessee After Train Derailment Releases Toxic Fumes

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Tennessee Highway Patrol and Maryville Police block a section of Highway 321 after a train derailment near Maryville, Tennessee July 2, 2015. Wade Payne/Reuters

Over 5,000 people were evacuated outside Knoxville, Tennessee, on Thursday morning after a freight train derailed carrying Acrylonitrile. At least one car on the train was carrying the "highly flammable and toxic gas," the Blount County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. Three train cars were on fire as a result of the derailment, sending the gas spewing into the air.

The train was traveling from Cincinnati to Waycross, Georgia. It was carrying 45 cars with a variety of materials on board.

The evacuation order went into effect for a one mile radius surrounding the derailment. Those affected were offered shelter in a nearby high school by the Red Cross. The evacuation is expected to last between 24 and 48 hours.

Seven police officers were hospitalized for inhaling the fumes.

5,000 Evacuated in Tennessee After Train Derailment Releases Toxic Fumes | U.S.