A poison cloud has forced hundreds of Ukrainians to flee, amid fears of a major environmental disaster. Over 800 villagers have been evacuated from their homes after a train carrying a highly toxic substance derailed and caught fire. At least 20 people have been treated in hospital. The giant cloud produced by the blaze has contaminated an area of 90 square kilometres in the Lviv region. Ukraine’s deputy prime minister evoked the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in 1986.
“A disaster has happened in our country” Oleksandr Kuzmuk said.
“After the Chernobyl catastrophe, we are dealing with a case that can pose a real threat to our people.”
The train was carrying highly flammable yellow phosphorous. As enquiries continue into the cause of the accident, residents who have remained are being advised to stay indoors, not to eat vegetables from their gardens or use water from local wells.