Bill Silverman, co-ordinator of the Missoula County Disaster and Emergency Services, said five tankers were derailed; four contained chlorine and one of those overturned and leaked. Bill Reed, chief of the Missoula Rural Fire Department, said: "It's probably empty now, or nearly so. That's not the concern now. The big concern is the condition of the other cars."
Sandy Neis, who lives two miles from the derailment, said that the the evacuation was swift. "I got dressed, got my daughter dressed and grabbed the dog," she said. She and her daughter, Katie, 6, and her husband, Rich, were among those who went to an evacuation centre in Frenchtown, 12 miles to the east.