Dozens of homes evacuated after ethanol-carrying train derails in New York
'Fast moving train' [Shutterstock]

Dozens of residents in western New York town were evacuated from their homes early on Wednesday after a train carrying hazardous liquid derailed, local officials said.

Sixteen cars of the 34-car Norfolk Southern train went off the tracks late on Tuesday in the town of Ripley, on Lake Eerie, the company said. Two of the derailed cars were carrying ethanol and were leaking, it said.

More than 50 homes near the derailment were evacuated, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's office said. Broadcaster WGRZ-TV reported many other residents in the area were told to shelter in place. No injuries were reported, the sheriff's office said.

A spokesman for Norfolk Southern, Dave Pidgeon, said an undetermined amount of ethanol leaked from the two cars after they derailed. One spill emanated from a puncture that has since been patched. The other car was leaking ethanol through a gasket, he said.

A third derailed car carrying plastic pellets also spilled some of its contents, Pidgeon said. A train car carrying propane derailed but did not leak, he said.

Crews would haul away all soil that had been contaminated, he said. He added that it was not yet clear how long that would take.

It was not yet known what caused the derailment.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere in Los Angeles, editing by Larry King)