Authorities in Louisiana ordered the evacuation of a parish on Wednesday after a railway derailment released caustic acid.
Several roadways were closed as hazardous materials crews examined the amount of the leak after the derailment in St. James Parish, roughly 50 miles west of New Orleans, according to the Louisiana State Police.
The damage was contained to a single railcar, which was carrying approximately 20,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid, according to authorities.
According to FOX8 New Orleans, over a hundred locals were ordered to leave their homes.
Hydrochloric acid has a distinct, unpleasant odor but is otherwise colorless. Mucous membranes, skin, and the respiratory system are all vulnerable to irritation and inflammation if exposed to this substance because of its corrosive properties.
As personnel continue to keep an eye on the leak using perimeter air monitoring, police have warned that the cleaning will take a while.
Officials pleaded with people to be patient as they made the area and scene safe, saying, “Public safety is our priority.”
Police said they will provide further information once they validated it.