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Hazardous derailment prompts warnings

A dozen rail cars jumped the tracks in Baltimore Saturday, closing a nearby Interstate.

BALTIMORE | November 24, 2007

A dozen rail cars, including several carrying a potentially hazardous chemical, jumped the tracks in southern Baltimore Saturday morning prompting officials to close highways and streets within a half-mile of the accident.

The accident occurred in an industrial area, not far from the city's football and baseball stadiums and just a few blocks from the Howard Street Tunnel. In 2001, a fire in the tunnel disrupted east coast freight traffic and Internet service when major communication cables were burned.

According to Baltimore City fire officials, although there have been no reports of spills or leaks, two of the cars were carrying a flammable resin solution and another had contained tetrachloroethylene, a liquid often used for dry-cleaning and metal degreasing.

The derailment closed nearby highways, including part of Interstate 95, for nearly four hours. The 31-car CSX train is expected to be cleared from the tracks Sunday.

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