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2 dead, 14 injured in Belgium as train carrying chemicals derails

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At least two people died and 14 were injured after a train carrying chemicals derailed and caught on fire in Belgium. 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. Five people were hospitalized, none with critical injuries.A total of six carriages derailed: two were on their side and three were on fire.

The blaze has been contained, but firefighters said that they might wait until the fire goes out by itself because extinguishing it might be dangerous due to burning chemicals emitting poisonous gas. The blazing carriages contained acrylonitrile, a toxic, but no explosive substances. There is no danger to the public at this point.

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.

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