Flames rise from a derailed freight train early Wednesday July 11, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. Part of a freight train derailed and caught fire in Ohio's capital city early Wednesday, shooting flames skyward into the darkness and prompting the evacuation of a mile-wide area as firefighters and hazardous materials crews worked to determine what was burning and contain the blaze.(AP Photo/Chris Mumma)
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A man who lives near the scene of a fiery train derailment in Ohio says "it looked like the sun exploded."
Flames shot high into the night sky after part of a freight train carrying ethanol derailed in Columbus.
It happened in an industrial area just blocks from residential neighborhoods southeast of the Ohio State University campus.
The accident prompted authorities to evacuate a mile-wide area. About 50 evacuees were at an American Red Cross aid site set up at the state fairgrounds.
Officials say two people who ran toward the scene before the explosion were injured but were able to take themselves to a hospital.
Norfolk Southern says it appears about 11 of the train's 98 freight cars derailed.
Fire officials say three of the burning cars were tankers carrying ethanol. After viewing the scene in daylight, authorities decided to let the fire burn out instead of trying to extinguish it.