Train carrying oil derails and catches fire in Illinois

A train loaded with crude oil derailed, catching some of its cars on fire, while travelling through a rural area of Illinois on Thursday, authorities said. There were no injuries reported, but at least two of the 103 train cars carrying crude oil were set ablaze.

The train derailed at around 1:20 p.m. local time (2:20 p.m. ET) near Galena, a town of about 3,400 people in the northwestern part of the state near the Iowa border, BNSF Railway said in a statement. At least five of the train cars derailed, emergency officials said.

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The scene of the derailment is near the Mississippi River, and there is a concern that oil and other materials on the train may spill into the waterway, a spokesperson for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency said. State and federal EPA officials were en route to the scene of the derailment Thursday afternoon.

BNSF on Thursday evening couldn't immediately say how many train cars derailed, and said the cause of the accident was not yet known. The company said the train consisted of 105 loaded cars, and all but two of those contained crude oil; the other two were buffer cars loaded with sand. The company did not say how much oil was on the train.

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