10:49 GMT18 January 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A train carrying crude oil derailed north of Seattle, Washington, and caught fire near the town of Custer, resulting in the evacuation of everyone within half a mile of the site, the local authorities of Whatcom County announced in a message.

    "Train derailment in the Custer area. Please evacuate if you are within half a mile of downtown Custer for your safety and the safety of responders," the Whatcom County authorities said via Twitter on Tuesday.

    Whatcom County also said there is a large response to the fire and the authorities have closed Grandview and Main Streets at Portal Way. The local law enforcement announced the evacuation of all residents near the site of the trainwreck.

    Later, the order to evacuate was lifted for the inhabitants of Custer.

    Soon after the first news on the derailment appeared, social media users who witnessed the accident shared their footage from the scene, with images of smoke and rail cars on fire.

    The Washington State Department of Ecology stated on Twitter that seven cars derailed and five were burning, adding that a unified emergency command had been formed.

    Initial reports said the train derailed around 11:40 a.m. local time and that between three to five tank cars were derailed, which was followed by a fire that broke out at the back of the train. There were no reports of any casualties before nightfall, and evacuations were still underway.

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    law enforcement, fire, trainwreck, train, USA, US
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