5 May 2013

Two die as train carrying toxic chemicals derails

8:17 am on 5 May 2013

Two people died and 14 others were injured when a train carrying toxic and flammable chemicals derailed and caused a major fire near the Belgian city of Ghent.

The victims were residents living near the site of the derailment. It is not clear how the two people died.

More than 300 people were evacuated from the area, the BBC reports.

The train was travelling from the Netherlands to Ghent's seaport on Saturday when it derailed as it changed tracks between the towns of Schellebelle and Wetteren.

Six of the train's 13 cars derailed and three caught fire, setting off a series of explosions.

The fire was left to burn out for fear that putting water on it would release toxic chemicals. Later on Saturday morning the blaze was under control but residents were advised to keep their doors and windows closed.