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Freight train in flames near Pittsburgh

Oct 21, 2006 | UPI A freight train derailed and burst into flames over a bridge near Pittsburgh Friday night, forcing hundreds of people to evacuate, authorities said.

The engineer and the conductor aboard the train escaped injury, said Fire Chief Dennis Stone of the Daugherty Township Volunteer Fire Department. There were no other reports of injuries.

Police said as many as 500 to 600 people were told to leave their homes as a precaution in an area that includes numerous businesses, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Hazardous materials crews were on the scene Saturday as a several burning cars dangled from a trestle above an embankment of the Beaver River, 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

The train`s midsection derailed while crossing the bridge, officials said. Witnesses reported hearing explosions and seeing flames shoot into the sky.

The cause of the derailment was being investigated and the extent and cost of the damage were being determined, the Post-Gazette said.

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