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Train Carrying Solvents Derails

A freight train carrying paint and industrial solvents derailed by the Columbia River Monday, briefly closing down an interstate and sending 170 students home from a nearby school.

Eleven flatbed and container cars ran off the Union Pacific Railroad Co. track en route to Portland from North Platte, Neb. In addition to the solvents, the train was carrying safety matches, .22-caliber bullets, toy caps, batteries, acids, and flammable liquids.

Hazardous materials workers determined there were no leaks from the train and no one was injured, Fire Marshal Charles Norris said.

“It’s just routine cleanup at this point,” Norris said.

State police briefly closed a 20-mile stretch of Interstate 84 because motorists stopping to gawk created a traffic hazard.

The students and all 24 staff members were sent home from the Petersburg School District, about 2 miles from the site, as a precaution, superintendent Howard Fetz said.

The cause of the derailment, about 90 miles from Portland, was under investigation.