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4 killed in Mississippi freight train collision

Two freight trains collided and partially derailed early Sunday northeast of Bentonia, Miss., killing four people, and residents of nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution, authorities said.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Two freight trains collided and partially derailed early Sunday, killing four people, and residents of nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution, authorities said.

The fatalities were all believed to be crew members from the trains that collided head-on Sunday morning. Rescue teams continued to search the wreckage, but no other injuries were reported, officials said.

One of the cars leaked vegetable oil and caught fire, but the flames were extinguished, said Amy Carruth, a spokeswoman with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. The cause of the wreck was not immediate determined, Carruth said.

The collision northeast of Bentonia involved two Canadian National Railroad freight trains, one with four locomotives and 137 cars and a second with three locomotives and 117 cars, Carruth said.

About 45 to 50 people were evacuated from homes in the area near Little Yazoo, but they were to be allowed to return later Sunday, said Nash Nunnery, a spokesman for the emergency agency.

Nunnery said hazardous substance crews inspected the wreckage and had already left by late morning.

The Canadian National Railroad sent investigators to the scene in west-central Mississippi.