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Gas Leak Near St. Louis, Missouri Forces Evacuations

Aired August 14, 2002 - 11:43   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Want to show you some live pictures we are getting in right now. This is from Crystal City, Missouri. Kind of incredible stuff. We believe this is a train that is leaking ammonia or some other toxic substance, and very little information right now. We are getting these pictures in from our affiliate KTVI. Once again, this is a train leaking some kind of substance. We believe it to be ammonia. That is our latest information, and it is in Crystal City, Missouri.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Which by the way, if I can jump in here is south -- we are hearing south of St. Louis, Missouri, and I am also being told that there are some evacuations underway as you might imagine.

KAGAN: I would hope so.

HARRIS: As you can see...

KAGAN: Looks like farm land.

HARRIS: ... looks like there are some residences that are fairly close to this rail car situation here. Again, we are just trying to get some more information there. We see someone who is actually moving there on the ground.

KAGAN: Yes. And we will track it. Once again, Crystal City, Missouri. Appears to be ammonia or some other substance leaking out of this freight train.

And we will take a break and bring you the latest as we get it. New pictures, new information straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAGAN: Once again, we go back to our breaking news out of Missouri. You can tell some kind of a cloud is forming right around this train. We believe it is in Crystal City, Missouri. We are getting word that it is either ammonia or chlorine gas that is leaking out of this train. As we had a wider picture, we could see it was in a somewhat rural area. And yet, still we are getting word that evacuations are underway. Still, the information right now, very sketchy in terms of what would have caused a leak to happen, and how toxic this cloud is that is forming as the substance escapes from the train.

We are tracking the pictures and going through Web sites.

Leon, you find anything else?

HARRIS: Nothing new. I am really unable to find anything new, just sort of another area being mentioned, Festus (ph), Missouri as well. We understand that...

KAGAN: Kind of close to St. Louis, is what you were saying.

HARRIS: South of St. Louis, just don't exactly know how far south of St. Louis. I am still trying to pull up a map here on the computer, to see if I can find one.

I understand that, from what I have been listening to, there have been evacuations already in the area. And as you can see there is almost -- there is no human activity around this installation. And it appears as though, from what I can tell here from that shot that -- from that closeup there just a second ago, the source of this -- looked like it is that pipe that runs alongside that building.

(CROSSTALK)

KAGAN: Yes, like there is something connected.

HARRIS: ... and not the train itself, or not that car itself, and it is coming down and going underneath the car.

KAGAN: Well, if you look at those tanks, perhaps there is a substance that is stored in those tanks and that is how they load up the tanks with that pipe...

HARRIS: Exactly.

KAGAN: In any case, they obviously have a very serious situation...

HARRIS: Or because there are a number of pipes, there could be something being mixed there as well.

(CROSSTALK)

KAGAN: It is a problem. One thing you think about in a situation like that when you have the gas escaping is the wind in the area or rain or anything else that could spread it.

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