One person has been killed and 17 injured after a goods train carrying a variety of chemicals and toxic raw materials en route to the Netherlands from Germany derailed and caught fire near the Belgian village of Schellebelle.
Three of the train’s twelve wagons caught fire after half of them derailed due to excess speed.Residents within 500 metres of the blaze have been evacuated, while anyone within 1000 metres has been warned to stay indoors with their windows shut.
“We’re currently letting the fire burn, because in this case, there
are less toxic gases in the air and it’s the best thing to do,” said fire officer Christian Van der Vooder.
The authorities say 300 people have been evacuated, but there is no danger to public health despite at least one of the wagons containing cyanide.
At one point flames were spread out over a distance of several hundred metres, endangering nearby houses.