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Train derailment sparks massive explosion in Ohio

Firefighters overlook the sight of the derailed train in Ohio. (Photo by @JenBorrasso/Twitter)

A train derailment in eastern Ohio has caused a massive fire and explosions that lit up the skies for miles and forced several residents to be evacuated, according to officials.

According to the Citizen Free Press, the train was carrying more than 100 oil tanker cars when it derailed and crashed into a gas station. Multiple train cars were seen on fire as the rising fumes from the blaze engulfed the atmosphere.

The incident occurred on Friday shortly after 9 p.m. local time in East Palestine, a town consisting of a community of around 4,700 in Ohio, not far from the Pennsylvania border.

Following the mishap, residents within a mile of the accident were told to evacuate immediately, as the police drove through the area with a loudspeaker and told residents to evacuate.

Pennsylvania’s KDKA-TV claimed that the amount of smoke being pushed into the atmosphere is such that it was visible on the news channel’s weather radar, as it drifted into Beaver County, Meteorologist Ray Petelin wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Mayor Trent Conaway took to Facebook to address a press conference regarding the situation that was streamed through the platform.

“Everybody is working together to try and solve this situation as best we can,” Conaway said on the platform.

Fire departments from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia have been called to assist.

Norfolk Southern Corp (NSC.N) freight railroad was "coordinating closely with local first responders while mobilizing our own teams", a company spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

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