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Freight Train Derails, Toxic Cloud Forces California Evacuations

A freight train has derailed near Bakersfield and one of its cars caught fire and forced the evacuation of several nearby homes.

Kern County Fire Department spokesman Sean Collins says there were no serious injuries in the derailment at 9:30 p.m. Saturday near Keene, a small town about 15 miles east of Bakersfield.

He says authorities believe two train cars went off the Union Pacific tracks at a tunnel entrance on the well-known Tehachapi Loop, and one of those cars carrying denatured alcohol ruptured and caught fire.

About eight homes were evacuated as a precaution after the fire produced a toxic cloud. A temporary shelter was set up at a high school. Collins says the blaze was confined to the tunnel entrance, and crews were letting the fire burn itself out.