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Originally published Monday, February 7, 2011 at 8:46 AM

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Fires from Ohio train tanker explosion are put out

Crews began cleaning up Monday at the site of a train derailment where tanker cars filled with ethanol shook the ground in spectacular nighttime explosions caught on video.

The Associated Press

ARCADIA, Ohio —

Crews began cleaning up Monday at the site of a train derailment where tanker cars filled with ethanol shook the ground in spectacular nighttime explosions caught on video.

Several of the rail cars burned for nearly 24 hours. Firefighters had most of the flames under control by late Sunday, said Hancock County Emergency Management Director Garry Valentine.

A couple of cars were still smoldering Monday morning, according to The Courier of Findlay.

Witnesses said they felt the ground shake every time a tanker exploded, and amateur videos showed fireballs erupting over the area in rural northwest Ohio, about 50 miles south of Toledo.

Authorities estimate that at least eight cars carrying more than 30,000 gallons of ethanol exploded after they tumbled off the tracks early Sunday. No one was injured, but homes within two miles were evacuated for much of the day.

The train was headed from Chicago to North Carolina with 62 cars, said Norfolk Southern spokesman Rudy Husband. Almost half the cars had at least some fire damage.

No cause has been determined, and it isn't known when the track will reopen, Husband said.

Heavy equipment was brought in to clear the cars and debris.

Authorities said that it was fortunate that the fire did not spread to a nearby fertilizer plant and that the train didn't derail in a residential area.

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