51 poisoned in Serbia after train carrying toxic materials derails

Some 51 people were poisoned after a train carrying ammonia derailed and spilled its cargo in southeastern Serbia, officials said Sunday local time.

The ammonia leak caused “51 cases of poisoning,” said Vladan Vasic, the mayor of the town of Pirot, where the accident happened.

“Seven people were kidnapped [hospital] in Nis”, the next big city, Mr Vasic said at a press conference.

The train derailed in the evening and caused “the leak”. [of ammonia] and the release of a large amount of gas into the atmosphere,” the Home Office said in a statement.

A state of emergency has been declared in the affected part of the city of 60,000 and authorities have urged residents to stay indoors.

The 20-car train was transporting toxic materials from neighboring Bulgaria, officials said.

The derailment claimed no further victims.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and (CDC), high levels of ammonia can irritate and burn the skin, mouth, throat, lungs, and eyes.

Even higher concentrations of ammonia can damage the lungs and even lead to death.

Originally published as a train derailment, 51 people were poisoned by toxic cargo

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