Train derailment: 5 people to hospital with respiratory problems (PHOTOS)

Emergency and hazmat crews responded to the scene of a train derailment on a bridge spanning the Mantua Creek near the Delaware River in Paulsboro, New Jersey Friday morning. The derailment happened around 7:00 a.m. near N Commerce Street. Four train cars fell off the bridge and into the water below. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection said their preliminary information on the cars that hit the water is that one rail car had vinyl chloride and one rail car had propane.
November 30, 2012 6:35:37 AM PST
Residents are being told to stay in their homes and students are being held inside schools after a train, carrying chemicals, derailed on a bridge spanning the Mantua Creek near the Delaware River in Paulsboro, N.J.

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Action News has learned that five people have gone to Underwood Memorial Hospital for respiratory problems.

The derailment happened around 7:00 a.m. Friday near North Commerce Street.

Four train cars fell off the bridge and into the water below.

Authorities say the train was transporting vinyl chloride. At this time, it's not clear if any of the chemical made it into the river water.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection said their preliminary information on the cars that hit the water is that one rail car had vinyl chloride and one rail car had propane.

According to the EPA's website, short-term exposure to vinyl chloride can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and headaches.

Long-term vinyl chloride exposure has been shown to increase the risk of a rare form of liver cancer, the EPA says, and has classified vinyl chloride as a Group A human carcinogen.

Everyone in nearby Paulsboro High School is being kept in the school - no one is permitted to leave and no one is allowed to enter the school at this time.

The same shelter-in-place policy has been put in place for the entire area, in an effort to keep nearby residents indoors.

LINK: Red Cross info on Shelter-In-Place order

However, there are no reports of evacuations at this time.

Stay with Action News and 6abc.com as more information becomes available.

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Online: Vinyl Chloride info on EPA.gov

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