Main Street in Imperial is still closed at this hour after a afternoon train derailment just south of the street.
HAZMAT teams from the Burlington North Santa Fe Railroad and pumpers with the Rock Community Fire Protection District are still on the scene cleaning up the site, said Ron Harder, a district spokesperson.
"We dodged a bullet because if those cars would have gone off the track at Main Street, it would have taken out Herrell's Market and Jefferson County Lumber and anyone else in the area," he said.
Around 2 p.m., eight tanker cars left the tracks just south of Main Street off Interstate 55, Harder said. Two of the cars, which were empty, contained potassium hydroxide and ethylene glycol.
Because the car carrying potassium hydroxide had a leak, 19 homes on Churchhill Court were evacuated as a precaution, Harder said. The residents were allowed to return to their homes around 5 p.m.
"Fortunately, there were no injuries," Harder said. "The conductor was shaken up about the incident, but he was ok."
Main Street is expected to reopen later this evening.