Freight train derails, catches fire in NE Indiana

March 27, 2012 - 9:25 AM

LIGONIER, Ind. (AP) — The state environmental agency says a freight train that derailed and caught fire in rural northeastern Indiana was hauling hazardous substances.

The train derailed about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday near the Noble County town of Ligonier, about 40 miles northwest of Fort Wayne.

Noble County Sheriff Doug Harp tells WANE-TV that about a half dozen homes have been evacuated.

Indiana Department of Environmental Management spokeswoman Amy Hartsock says tankers carrying molten sulfur and the gasoline additive toluene derailed. She says authorities evacuated a half-mile area as a precaution.

Hartsock says firefighters are still battling a blaze emitting yellowish smoke more than three hours after the derailment. Officials also are trying to determine whether foam on the nearby Elkhart River might have come from the train.