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Town Flees Leaking Rail Cars

Residents of Potterville, Mich. are still out of their homes and businesses.

The town's 2,200 residents were kept away Tuesday for a second day as crews continued to deal with a propane leak caused by a train derailment.

Many are expressing relief no one in town was injured when more than half of the train's 58 cars derailed following a Memorial Day celebration. Nine cars carried propane; two had sulfuric acid. Propane was leaking from two cars.

On Tuesday, emergency crews burned off propane to reduce the risk of explosion. Eaton County Sheriff Rick Jones said each of the 35 derailed cars must be checked before residents can return. Each propane car contained 34,000 gallons of propane gas.

"We have to move cautiously," said Ian Thomson, a spokesman for Canadian National Railroad, parent company of Grand Trunk. "Our goal is to keep the area safe and the community safe."

Around Potterville, there's evidence people evacuated in a hurry.

One resident says he and his family still have a chicken dinner sitting on the counter.

Potterville schools are to remain closed today. It's not clear when residents will be able to come back. Some residents were given food and water at the sheriff's office. More than 90 people and 17 volunteers were at the shelter, but several left after learning Canadian National would pay for hotel rooms.

No injuries were reported. The cause of the accident was not known, but Jones said foul play had been ruled out.

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