Train derailment, toxic smoke forces evacuations near Bakersfield

Legal news for California personal injury attorneys. A freight train derailment prompted evacuations after toxic cloud arose from fire.

California personal injury attorneys alert- A Union Pacific freight train derailed and caused an evacuation.

Bakersfield, CA—A train derailment and raging fire forced residents from their homes and caused non-serious injuries on Saturday, February 20, 2010. About seven homes were evacuated and 30 others were advised to stay indoors with their windows shut after two cars of a freight train derailed around 9:30 p.m., near Keene, as reported by USA Today.

Authorities believe the derailment was caused by two Union Pacific train cars that derailed at a tunnel entrance on the Tehachapi Loop. One of the derailed cars was transporting denatured alcohol that ruptured and ignited a blaze. The other train car was carrying plastic pellets that also caught fire. The black thick toxic smoke from the fire engulfed a nearby small town, prompting the evacuations and “stay indoors” orders. The Kern County Fire Department reported that there were “no serious injuries.” The evacuation orders for the 2-mile radius around the derailment site were in place until Sunday, when the fire burned out. The fire was contained to the tunnel entrance. Police officials are investigating the train derailment.

The Kern County Environmental Health Agency, the Kern County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol also responded to the scene.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for California personal injury lawyers.