A HUGE fire on a train carrying thousands of gallons of diesel forced more than 300 families to evacuate their homes overnight.
The blaze ripped through the freight train in Llangennech, near Llanelli in Wales last night causing residents to flee.
The train burst into a fireball after it derailed from the track around 11.20pm.
Shocking photos and video showed a thick column of smoke rising from the inferno as police warned this morning a “substantial risk” remained.
Flames consumed three carriages and an 800-metre evacuation zone was put in place.
Two workers onboard the blazing train who raised the alarm escaped uninjured.
Police declared a major incident and residents to shelter at Bryn School and Llangennech Community Centre.
Locals said they could smell the burning diesel fumes “well over a mile” from the scene.
Mum-of-three Louise Perkins, 38, said she was forced to leave her home with her children aged 19, 12, and seven at midnight.
Louise said: “There was this massive fire and black smoke.
“As we left it was just fire – you could see like balls of it puffing up, and smell the smell of diesel.
“It was just everywhere, and there were just black, black clouds of smoke in the air.”
Cops told her the train could explode at any moment after it was derailed.
She said: “At that point my children were up and and they got really distressed.
“They were worried – ‘oh, what if our house catches fire, what about all the stuff?’
“I told them not to panic But my youngest was really upset, she’s seven, she was just heartbroken, she was crying.”
The three overturned carriages were still alight by Thursday afternoon as fire crews battled to cool them.
BTP Superintendent Andy Morgan: “The two members of railway staff operating the train were able to raise the alarm and uncouple the locomotive and move it to a safe space.
“The fire was significant due to the quantity of fuel it was carrying and presented a possible danger to the wider community.”
He added: “At this time, the cause of the fire is unknown and, while the fire continues, there is still a substantial risk within its immediate vicinity, so our advice remains for people to avoid the area.”
It isn’t know yet what caused the fire.
Residents were allowed to return to their homes early on Thursday morning.
British Transport Police Assistant Chief Constable Sean O’Callaghan said: “The fire continues and there is still a substantial risk within its immediate vicinity, so our advice remains for people to avoid the area.
“Our officers will be conducting initial enquiries into the incident and are in the process of securing key witness statements and CCTV.
“Once the fire has been extinguished, and the scene is safe to assess and investigate, we’ll be working with the Office of Rail and Road and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch to establish the exact circumstances behind the incident.”