Acid leaking out of tanks after train derails in Smithville Sunday morning


SAN BERNARDINO, CA – MAY 15: A freight train passes diagonally-shifted layers of earth as it crosses the San Andreas Rift Zone, the system of depressions in the ground between the parallel faults of the San Andreas earthquake fault, on heavily-used railroad tracks in Cajon Canyon on May 15, 2008 west of San Bernardino, California. New calculations reveal a 99.7 percent chance that a magnitude 6.7 quake or larger will strike by 2037, according to the first-ever statewide temblor forecast released by the scientists of the United States Geological (USGS), Southern California Earthquake Center and California Geological Survey last month. Scientists have particular concern for the people living along the southern portion of the 800-mile-long San Andreas Fault east of Los Angeles. This section of the fault has had very little slippage for more than 300 years and has built up immense pressure that could release an earthquake of historic proportions at any time. Such a quake could produce a sudden lateral movement of 23 to 32 feet and be would be among the largest ever recorded. Experts have predicted that a quake of magnitude-7.6 or greater on the southern San Andreas would kill thousands of people and cause many billions of dollars in damages, dwarfing the 1994 Northridge disaster near Los Angeles that killed 72 people, injured more than 9,000 and caused $25 billion in damage. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

SMITHVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — First responders in Smithville are responding to train tracks near State Highway 95 where a Union Pacific train containing hazardous cargo derailed — causing hydrochloric acid to start leaking from tanks.

The City of Smithville says the incident happened at around 5 a.m. at SH 95 and Martin Luther King Boulevard. While no one was injured and the tanker cars were empty, the City says they still contained some leftover acid.

Smithville police and volunteer firefighters have set up a perimeter and Union Pacific Hazmat teams are on their way. No large scale evacuations are needed, the City says.

The City says it will keep residents updated, adding: “Fortunately, there is no wind and no large scale evacuation needed. However, Live Oak, 4th Avenue, and MLK crossing at SH95 are all blocked. So, citizens on the Hill are isolated until the train can be “broken” to allow access.”

The Live Oak crossing at FM 2571 has since reopened.

Smithville, located in Bastrop County, is about 45 minutes outside of Austin.

KXAN will update this story with more information as it becomes available.

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