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Signal Problems Preceded NJ Train Derailment

PAULSBORO, N.J. (AP) — Officials say they’re looking into whether a track signal malfunctioned and if there might be a connection to the derailment Friday of seven cars of a freight train on a bridge, releasing a hazardous chemical into the air.

Some people reported health problems but officials say there were no serious injuries and that an evacuation is still in place for the area around the derailment in southern New Jersey. Authorities say they continue to monitor air quality as they make tricky cleanup decisions.

National Transportation Safety Board chairman Deborah Hersman said the crew on the train told investigators they encountered a red stop signal, unusual for that time of day. When a radio signal failed to change the light, a conductor inspected the bridge before getting permission to cross.

Only the two locomotives and the first five cars made it.

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