Freight train explodes, town evacuated in Illinois
Oct 7, 2011, 15:26 GMT
Washington - A train derailed and exploded early Friday near a small town in Illinois, prompting the evacuation of 800 people.
The train, which was carrying ethanol, exploded near the town of Tiskilwa, which lies southwest of Chicago. The blast caused six cars to burst into flame, according to the Chicago Tribune's online edition.
'Every time one of the cars caught fire, it seemed as though a bomb went off,' a resident told the Chicago Tribune.
So far no injuries have been reported, and evacuees have been housed in a nearby school.
According to the local fire department, the fire could not be brought under control, and authorities feared the blaze could spread to the more than 100 additional cars.
It remains unknown why the train derailed.
Firefighters estimated that at least half of the train's cars were carrying ethanol, which is flammable and made fighting the fire dangerous.