LAWTELL, La. (AP) — About 100 people evacuated from their homes Sunday after chemicals leaked from a derailed train would be allowed to go home Tuesday afternoon, state police said.
Capt. Doug Cain said the evacuation area — originally about a mile around the site — was narrowed to a quarter-mile after all chemicals contained in two derailed cars had been removed.
Cain said fewer than 100 people will still remain out of their homes, but may be able to go home as soon as Thursday.
A section of U.S. Highway 190 near the site was expected to remain closed until at least Thursday.
The Union Pacific train derailed near Lawtell, about 60 miles west of Baton Rouge.
Two people were on the train, an engineer and a conductor, at the time of the accident. Neither was hurt though a man who was near the derailment was treated for a burning sensation in his eyes.
Union Pacific spokesman Raquel Espinoza said the company arranged for affected residents to be house in nearby hotels.
Cain said 1,800 feet of damaged track has been replaced and trains are moving through the area though their speed is limited to 10 miles per hour. He said crews continued to work on removing derailed cars from the scene.
Cause of the accident remains under investigation. Espinoza said the section of track where the derailment took place had been inspected just hours before the accident.
On Monday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency in response to the mishap.