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Train derails in NC, forcing hundreds to evacuate

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The Bladen County Sheriff's Office has set up a command post to keep people away from the derailment (WTVD Photo / Angelica Alvarez)

BLADENBORO, N.C. — Officials said a cargo train derailed Saturday in Bladenboro, forcing hundreds of people to evacuate.

WTVD reported that the derailment happened around 3:30 p.m. in the town south of Fayetteville.

Officials said 10 of the 105 cars overturned and one was full of ammonia. Captain Rodney Hester with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office told WTVD that the car carrying ammonia was not leaking.

“Hazmat has deemed there is no leak at this time however CSX wants to go ahead, due to the way the tanker is positioned they want to off load the ammonia which is going to be a time consuming process,” Hester said, according to WTVD.

Authorities said the train belongs to CSX. The transportation company is handling the draining of ammonia so that people can get back into their homes. The long process had not yet started as of 9:45 p.m. Saturday.  

Officials said up to 400 nearby residents were forced to evacuate.

Those that did not stay with nearby family are reportedly staying at an emergency shelter at Bladenboro Middle School. Officials said there are more than 30 people staying at the school Saturday night.

“We don’t have a car we called the cops and told them and they sent an ambulance out there they picked us up and brought us here,” said Rafael Masso, an evacuee.

Another evacuee told WTVD her husband heard a loud sound about the same time the train derailed. About an hour later, a police officer was at their door.

“He came and knocked on the door and then he had a bullhorn outside saying we had to evacuate,” said evacuee Filicia Lilley McKee.

Source: WTVD.