Train 'Spewing Toxic Gas' Forces Evacuations Within One Mile Of Tracks

Railroad Tanker Cars at railway crossing.

Photo: Paulbr / iStock / Getty Images

Authorities in Arkansas have ordered residents living near train tracks in White County to evacuate because a Union Pacific train was "spewing a toxic gas." The train stopped on the tracks but did not derail.

The White County Sheriff's Office said that the train stopped near Highway 367 and that people from McRae to the Bowman Road/Highway 367 exit who live within a mile of the train tracks were being evacuated as a precaution.

Officials said the gas was nitric acid, which can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes.

There were no immediate reports of injuries due to the incident.

"If you are in the area and you start to feel sick, try to find somewhere to get fresh air," the White County 911/Dispatch Center said. "If the fresh air is not helping, call 911."

Multiple agencies, including the Beebe Fire Department and the White County Office of Emergency Management, are on the scene and working to deal with the gas leak. Officials with Union Pacific are also on the scene.

Air monitoring tests following the incident showed normal conditions.

Investigators have not said what caused the train to begin leaking gas.

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