Authorities evacuate residential area after hazardous material train derailment in Pennsylvania

The accident occurred north of Philadelphia, near the town of Plymouth Meeting. Authorities assured that there was no spillage of chemicals or fuels.

A freight train carrying hazardous materials derailed Monday in Montgomery County, Pa. According to authorities, the incident occurred in Whitemarsh Township. A residential area near the incident was evacuated on a precautionary basis, pending further assessment.

The derailment occurred near the town of Plymouth Meeting, which has a population of about 7,500 located north of Philadelphia. The convoy consisted of 40 cars, 16 of which were damaged in the incident. The train is owned by CSX. According to a CSX statement, the tracks belong to Norfolk Southern. CSX confirmed that among the cargo involved in the accident, one train car contained hazardous materials, but initially assured that there were no spills or leaks.

While preliminary reports indicate that one car transporting hazardous material was involved in the incident, there is no indication of any leaks or spills of hazardous materials and there are no injuries to the crew of the train.

According to a local ABC channel, authorities later confirmed that the cars containing the most hazardous materials were not damaged. Five of these cars contained fertilizer, and a last one was carrying tetrachloroethylene, a solvent for cleaning liquids and metals.

Whitemarsh Township authorities nevertheless evacuated the areas closest to the accident as a precaution. These are residential areas and some businesses. "It is not believed that further evacuations will be necessary, but we will assess this when we know more. No injuries have been reported and there is no known danger to the public," authorities added.