More than 5,000 residents were evacuated after a freight train carrying a “highly flammable and toxic gas” partly derailed and caught fire early Thursday just outside Knoxville, Tennessee, officials said. Seven officers were hospitalized after breathing in fumes, Blount County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Marian O’Briant told NBC News. One car of the train derailed and was on fire, railroad officials said.
An evacuation zone is in place over a two-mile radius from the derailment, near Maryville, and could be in place for up to 48 hours, the fire department said. Two shelters were being opened for residents including one at a local high school, according to David Kitchen, senior disaster program Manager for the Tennessee Volunteer Region of the Red Cross. FULL REPORT