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Train Derailment Forces Evacuations

Mon., Oct. 28, 1996

A pair of locomotives and two dozen cars of a freight train derailed before daybreak Sunday, scattering chemicals that forced the evacuation of two nearby mobile homes.

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe train was heading from Chicago to Richmond, Va., when it derailed 10 miles south of Fresno about 4:30 a.m. Some cars smashed open, strewing cargo along the tracks. No injuries were reported.

The train may have been hauling paint, batteries and compressed gas, said Burlington Northern spokesman Mike Martin, who did not know exactly what chemicals were on board.

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