The Nation

Several thousand people were evacuated from an area about a mile from downtown Akron, Ohio, after four tanker cars exploded and burned following a train derailment. Seventeen cars were derailed and nine of them were carrying highly flammable butane. At least 1,500 homes were evacuated. Firefighters and police knocked on the doors of houses where they asked residents to go to a nearby regional transit garage, where buses would take them to a high school shelter. Witnesses said flames from the burning tankers could be seen for miles. Akron-area hospitals reported no injuries 2 1/2 hours after the explosion, but some area residents reported feeling nausea. One car had been carrying butadiene, which may produce poisonous smoke when burned, but a state environmental official said: "The danger is strictly from flammability. So far, it does not look like an environmental problem.

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