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Hazmat Scene after Train Derails Near Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A hazardous materials alert has been issued in southern Louisville after a train derailed in the area and emitted a strong chemical odor.

MetroSafe spokeswoman Jody Duncan says about 20 houses were being evacuated Monday morning in southern Jefferson County near the town of West Point because multiple chemicals spilled from the train. Duncan said evacuated residents were being put on a bus to keep them warm and safe from any possible chemical contamination.

Duncan said others in the area were being told to shelter in place.

Duncan says the train derailed at about 6 a.m. EDT near the Ohio Valley Dragway on Dixie Highway and possibly spilled multiple chemicals, including hydrogen chloride and hydrochloric acid, which can cause coughing, choking, inflammation of the nose, throat, and upper respiratory tract.

A Level 3 HazMat alert, the highest possible, has been issued for the area.

Eight of the 40 cars on the train were off the track. No injuries were reported.

The Courier-Journal reported that firefighters were going door-to-door to notify residents and Dixie Highway in the area is closed indefinitely.

WAVE-TV in Louisville reported that people living outside a one-mile radius but in the were asked to take shelter in their homes.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.