The Union Pacific Railroad was filled with first responders battling the flames from a fiery explosion.
Clean-up efforts are underway after a train derails in Illinois sparking a massive fire. Many people were pushed from their homes and businesses. Nearby schools even dismissed their students early.
The train derailed around noon in a small community outside of St. Louis called Dupo, Illinois. Officials confirm at least one train car was carrying flammable material.
Officials even feared the air would become harmful to breathe.
“We had three subdivisions here locally that we evacuated for precautionary measures and we set up an evacuation shelter,” says St. Clare Emergency Management Director Herb Simmons.
Officials say a few hundred residents were forced to evacuate due to the fire. Dupo native, Stacey Dixon, says first she got an automated message saying to leave her home located just a couple of miles away from the crash.
“They also sent a police officer around with a megaphone,” says Dixon.
Some people say they could see the smoke rising from miles away.
“I live in St. Louis, Missouri, on the other side of the river and I could see the smoke from my front door, so it was pretty massive,” says Teresa Barnett.
Emergency crews battled the flames for a few hours. The smoke started to subside around 3:00 PM.
Officials say it took many different response agencies to put out the flames while also evacuating residents.
“I can’t be prouder of our first responders than I am today,” says Simmons.
No injuries have been reported. Residents were able to return to their homes Tuesday afternoon.