A train collided with a truck carrying hydrochloric acid in Pennsylvania Tuesday morning. Emergency dispatchers said the accident happened just before 11 a.m. in Fredericktown. Hazmat crews are working to keep 4,400 gallons of hydrochloric acid that spilled from the truck out of a nearby river, along with an unknown amount of diesel fuel hauled by the train that also spilled. The driver of the truck was taken by medevac to a Pittsburgh hospital in unknown condition, WPXI reported. Two other people were also taken to hospitals and eight people were treated at the scene, all for exposure to hydrochloric acid.
Several nearby homes have been evacuated, and officials are considering evacuating more, including a an elderly couple that would need to be moved by emergency personnel. Officials say the train carried the truck about 100 yards down the tracks.
It wasn’t immediately clear how the crash occurred, WPXI reported. Don Lloyd, a truck driver experienced with carrying hazardous materials who was working nearby, rushed to the scene to give the driver of the truck in the crash an oxygen mask to protect him from the billowing clouds of acid.
“Very bitter in the lungs and dry,” he said. “It’s very nasty. “Windy conditions spreading those clouds made it difficult for rescue crews to get to the driver.