Louisiana Train Derailment will Likely Lead to Lawsuits by Residents

Following a train derailment in Lafayette, Louisiana early Saturday morning, thousands of gallons of leaked hydrochloric acid caused a toxic cloud to form above the crash site. As a result, residents were evacuated and many people in the area suffered severe skin and eye irritation. As the cleanup continues, those who suffered injuries have already begun contacting local and national toxic tort lawyers to review what potential legal rights may be available.

The train derailment occurred around 2:30 a.m. central time on Saturday, May 17, 2008, when six of the train’s cars rolled off of the tracks. Over 8,000 gallons of acid leaked from two of the cars, causing a yellowish pool to form above the crash site.

Hydrochloric acid is a toxic chemical that can cause severe respiratory problems, skin irritation and eye problems. Over 3,000 Lafayette residents within the evacuation area were forced to leave their homes, including 161 nursing home residents. Those living further from the site of the leak were advised to close their windows and turn off air conditioning to avoid injury.

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The train was operated by BNSF Railway, a Texas rail company. The company has indicated that they will reimburse area residents for hotel and restaurant bills incurred during the evacuation. Those who have suffered physical injury as a result of the leak may also be entitled to a personal injury settlement.

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