UK & World News

  • 18 August 2014, 2:58

Trains Carrying Toxic Chemicals Crash Head-On

Two freight trains carrying toxic chemicals have crashed head-on in the US, killing two people and injuring two others.

Firefighters spent seven hours extinguishing the fire as diesel and chemicals on board burst into flames.

Around 500 people were evacuated from the crash scene in Hoxie, a small town in northeast Arkansas.

Police said two Union Pacific crew members died and another two were hurt.

"The fire involved diesel and also there was a tank car that ruptured and it contained an (unknown) alcoholic beverage," said a spokesman for Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.

"We don't know the cause of the accident. We have no idea why these trains were on the same line."

He said no residents were injured in the collision and people were eventually allowed to return to their homes.

Union Pacific spokesman Brandon Morris said none of the carriages were leaking toxic materials.

Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board are to investigate the crash, he said.

It is the second head-on collision involving Union Pacific trains in two years.

In June 2012, two trains collided in the Oklahoma Panhandle, killing three crew members and injuring a fourth.