Flaming fuel from seven rail tanks of compressed butane gas, which exploded after a derailment, has threatened to burn the town of Crescent City, Illinois to the ground.
AV Burning cases and flames
GV Fire burning in building
LV Flames pour from building
CU ZOOM FROM Red warning light to wrecked train
GV Burning buildings
CU Wrecked car
GV ZOOM Wreckage
Initials DC/AW/BJ DC/AW/MH
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Background: Flaming fuel from seven rail tanks of compressed butane gas, which exploded after a derailment, has threatened to burn the town of Crescent City, Illinois to the ground.
All 600 residents of the town, 125 miles (200 kms) south of Chicago were evacuated after the tanks exploded, showering shops and houses in the town with fire, and sending burning gas hundreds of feet into the air.
Some 300 firemen from surrounding communities in Illinois and Indiana, clad in asbestos suits battle the flames, and about 35 people - many of them fire fighters - are reported seriously injured. No deaths have been reported.
Chemical foam was brought in from a nearby air force base but the heat from the explosion kept firemen from getting close enough to use the foam effectively. The explosions ruptured water mains at the pumping station and water was tracked in by other fire departments to battle the blaze.
The cause of the derailment is still unknown and it is not yet known when the people of Crescent City will be allowed to return to their homes.