Hydrochloric acid leaks from train in Louisiana; thousands evacuated

Six cars of a freight train derailed Saturday, including one that began leaking hydrochloric acid, causing thousands of people to evacuate homes, businesses and a nursing home within one mile 1.6-kilometer of the wreck. The spilled acid sent a toxic cloud over the area, and at least five people, including two railroad workers, were taken to a hospital and treated after complaining of skin and eye irritation, said Lafayette Parish sheriff's Lt. Craig Stansbury. A nursing home with 161 residents was evacuated, Dr. Jimmy Guidry, the state health officer, said. About 35 of the residents who were especially frail were taken to area hospitals, he said. Police walked door-to-door notifying residents of the mandatory evacuation in an area with an estimated population of 3,500 people. "We're advising them to take enough supplies for approximately 48 hours," Stansbury said.