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Thursday, March 16, 2006

A train hauling sulphuric acid overturned early yesterday, forcing the evacuation of about 250 southern Illinois homes in a half-mile radius of the accident, authorities said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries. Jim Kvedaras, a U.S. spokesman for Canadian National Railway Co., said none of the sulphuric acid -- a chemical that can burn skin and trigger asthma attacks -- leaked after the accident happened just before 2 a.m. local time at a switching site on the company-owned tracks at Du Quoin. "There were no releases, no leaks, no evidence of any risk posed to any residents down there," Mr. Kvedaras said. The train was hauling four cars, including one that contained paper and two cars that were empty.

"It's unknown at this time what the cause of the derailment was," Mr. Kvedaras said.

"All we're doing now is waiting for a heavy equipment operator to arrive at the scene, rerail it and remove it." CNR (TSX) rose $1.13 to $53.67. AP

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