The Latest on train derailment: 5,000 evacuated in Tennessee

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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A fire official says about 5,000 people and several businesses are being evacuated in a 2-mile radius around a train derailment and fire in eastern Tennessee.

Blount County Fire Department Lt. Johnny Leatherwood says a call came in about the derailment at 11:50 p.m. Wednesday. At least one CSX train car carrying a flammable and toxic gas derailed and caught fire. Leatherwood says the fire was still burning at 6:05 a.m. Thursday.

He says firefighters and hazardous-materials crew are on the scene. He says six or seven officers had to be decontaminated but no deaths have been reported.

He could not say how many cars derailed or what substance they were carrying.

He says residents were notified by reverse 911 calls and door-to-door visits.

See photos from the evacuation:

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Tennessee train derailment and fire
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The Latest on train derailment: 5,000 evacuated in Tennessee
Smoke rises from a CSX train following the derailment of a train car, Thursday, July 2, 2015, in Maryville, Tenn. The derailment of the car, carrying a flammable and toxic substance, caused the evacuation of thousands in the surrounding area. (Michael Patrick/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP)
Smoke rises from a CSX train following the derailment of a train car, Thursday, July 2, 2015, in Maryville, Tenn. The derailment of the car, carrying a flammable and toxic substance, caused the evacuation of thousands in the surrounding area. (Michael Patrick/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP)
Smoke rises from a CSX train following the derailment of a train car, Thursday, July 2, 2015, in Maryville, Tenn. The derailment of the car, carrying a flammable and toxic substance, caused the evacuation of thousands in the surrounding area. (Michael Patrick/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP)
Smoke rises from a CSX train following the derailment of a train car, Thursday, July 2, 2015, in Maryville, Tenn. The derailment of the car, carrying a flammable and toxic substance, caused the evacuation of thousands in the surrounding area. (Michael Patrick/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP)
Smoke rises from a CSX train following the derailment of a train car, Thursday, July 2, 2015, in Maryville, Tenn. The derailment of the car, carrying a flammable and toxic substance, caused the evacuation of thousands in the surrounding area. (Michael Patrick/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP)
(Photo via AP)
Emergency personnel stand by as evacuees gather at the Foothills Mall early Thursday, July 2, 2015, in Maryville, Tenn., after they were forced to leave their homes when rail car carrying a flammable and toxic gas derailed and caught fire. (Brittany Bade/WBIR.com via AP)
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6:50 a.m.

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesman Dean Flener says there have been no reports of fatalities after a CSX train carrying a flammable substance derailed and caught fire in eastern Tennessee.

Authorities say residents within a 1-mile radius of the derailment have been told to evacuate.

Flener says the situation is being handled locally but two state emergency management officials have been sent to Blount County in case the agency's help is needed.

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6:25 a.m.

An area high school has been set up as a shelter for residents who've had to evacuate after a train carrying a flammable gas derailed and caught fire in eastern Tennessee.

Authorities say the Red Cross is using Heritage High School in Maryville as a shelter for residents who have no other place to go.

Residents within a 1-mile radius of the train derailment have been told to evacuate.

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6 a.m.

Authorities say at least one train car carrying a flammable and toxic gas has derailed and caught fire in eastern Tennessee, prompting an evacuation within a 1-mile radius.

WATE-TV reports the CSX train derailed in Blount County, south of Knoxville.

On its Facebook page, the Blount County Sheriff's Office said early Thursday that the evacuations could last from 24 to 48 hours.

A shelter for residents has been set up at a high school.

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