At least 16 cars derailed, and two of them carrying sulfur caught fire.
It’s believed that sulfur dioxide is being released into the air, which can cause respiratory problems. One crew member was treated for minor injuries.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency and the train company CSX is covering the cost of hotel rooms and food for evacuated residents.
“We will work together with local authorities to secure the area and safety is our top priority as we develop a recovery plan,” CSX said in a statement.
Beshear posted to social media that he’ll share more information as it becomes available.
“At this time, one home has been evacuated and teams are working to evacuate one more. Please stay clear of this area,” Beshear said.
Officials with the Rockcastle County Sheriff’s Office said the area is “extremely remote” and authorities were still assessing the situation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.