Crews respond to train derailment in Dupo, Illinois

Thick black smoke billows into the air from the derailment in the southwestern part of the state.

A train derailed in southwestern Illinois Tuesday afternoon, sparking a huge fire that sent plumes of black smoke billowing into the air that could be seen in downtown St. Louis.

Fox 2 reported that first responders were on the scene near Dupo, about eight miles south of St. Louis. Video from KMOV-TV showed at least 10 train cars derailed while flames erupted from the wreckage.

The St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency reported the train derailed about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. It posted a video of large plumes of black smoke coming from a fire.

In a separate statement, Union Pacific said the derailment occurred at around 12:45 p.m. in the Dupo rail yard.

"The train was being built for departure at the time of the derailment, which caused a tank car to catch fire. Initial information from the scene indicates that the tank car contains a flammable liquid called methyl isobutyl ketone. It is typically used as a solvent.

"Union Pacific is working with area first responders to put out the fire. Our yard and nearby intermodal ramp were safely evacuated. At this time, no injuries have been reported.”

Emergency officials said they were not immediately aware of what the train was carrying.

Dupo police say students at a grade school, junior high school and a high school have been evacuated to a high school farther away. Police say a few hundred residents of a mobile home park and a subdivision near the tracks also have been evacuated.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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