At least one person died and 49 were injured after a train carrying chemicals derailed and caught on fire in Belgium, local media report. Nearly 300 people were evacuated from their homes in the northwestern city of Ghent.
The incident happened around 2:00am local time (24:00 GMT),
causing a major fire. A total of six carriages derailed: two were
on their side and three were on fire.
The dead person is reported to be the train driver. Most injured people complained of intoxication with poisonous fumes emitted during the blaze.
The blaze had been extinguished by late Saturday night.
Firefighters waited until the fire went out by itself as burning
chemicals emitting toxic gasses posed a hazard. The blazing
carriages contained acrylonitrile, a toxic, but no explosive
After the train caught fire, a series of explosions rocked the train cars, prompting authorities to evacuate residents living nearby and disrupting the railway service in the area for at least two days, DH newspaper quoted governor of East Flanders Jan Briers as saying.
The train was coming from the Netherlands and was heading to the city’s seaport – Ghent-Zeehaven.