Train with toxic cargo crashes off bridge into creek

POSTED: Friday, November 30, 2012 - 9:15am
UPDATED: Friday, November 30, 2012 - 9:35am

New Jersey --  A bridge collapsed in the West Deptford area of New Jersey on Friday, sending several train cars carrying toxic chemicals crashing into a creek near the Delaware River, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Vinyl chloride, a highly toxic and flammable chemical, is believed to be leaking into the creek, Petty Officer Nick Ameen told CNN. No casualties have been reported, but nearby schools are on lockdown, a borough emergency official said, and people in the immediate area have been evacuated.

A hazardous materials team is on the scene, said Glen Roemmich, a Paulsboro area emergency management coordinator.

Residents told CNN affiliate WPVI they smelled an odor in the area. People in the town of Paulsboro should stay indoors for now and keep windows closed, a Gloucester County spokeswoman said.

The Coast Guard is not in a search-and-rescue mode, Ameen said. Coast Guard crews, he said, are heading to the scene to stop the leak and begin cleaning it up.

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