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Blount County Train Derailment Update

(7:34 p.m. ET, Friday, July 3, 2015)

Authorities say it is now safe for thousands of Blount County residents to return to their homes and businesses following their evacuation from an area west of downtown Maryville.  Between 5000-6000 residents were evacuated after a CSX tanker car carrying acrylonitrile burst into flames just before midnight Wednesday. 

CSX officials say the tanker car was carrying 24,000 gallons of acrylonitrile (uh-KRILL-uh-nye-tril), which is used in used in the manufacture of plastics.  Investigators are still looking into the cause of the derailment, but no information has yet been made available.

All but two of the 57 cars in the train have been removed from the crash site.  For the time being, the damaged car and another car that was carrying acrylonitrile will remain on the scene.

Air and water monitor results suggest contamination has been contained at the crash site.  Those residents using well water were given permission to use their water for bathing and drinking Friday afternoon.