BALTIMORE -- Firefighters who have endured three days of setbacks in the aftermath of a train derailment entered the weekend with renewed spirit after removing several cars and putting out two blazes.
The freight train carrying hydrochloric acid and other hazardous materials derailed in a tunnel and ignited a fire on Wednesday, crippling the city and disrupting Internet service across the country by damaging cables.
But emergency workers managed to pull 21 more cars, including one carrying hydrochloric acid, from the train on Saturday, allowing them to attack two cars that remained burning inside the downtown tunnel. Only 11 cars from the 60-car train remain in the tunnel.
"We're making good progress and we see light at the end of the tunnel," Acting Fire Chief Carl McDonald said.
Workers also finished pumping out the contents of one of two cars carrying hydrochloric acid near the rear of the train. It leaked at least 5,000 gallons before it was emptied.
Fire spokesman Mike Maybin said the expected removal of more cars Saturday would make it easier to put out the remaining fires on the train and deal with hazardous chemicals in some of the cars. One of the cars remaining underground still carried hazardous chemicals.
The successes late Friday followed setbacks earlier in the day, when the intense heat from the fire injured two workers and delayed efforts to remove cars and plug a water main that ruptured above the tunnel.
Two emergency workers suffered heat-related injuries after entering the tunnel to inspect the remaining train cars. They were rescued and taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where they were treated and released.
The water-main break continued gushing water into a major downtown intersection, partly collapsing the street. At least 60 million gallons of water have spewed from the pipe.
City crews said the spigot could not be turned off until the fire was extinguished, hazardous materials had been removed and the tunnel walls had been certified safe.
"We're not anticipating the tunnel situation being totally resolved over the weekend," public works spokesman Kurt Kocher said.
Earlier Friday, firefighters wearing masks and air tanks climbed down manholes to attack the fire. Other emergency crews used hoses fed through manholes to pump hydrochloric acid from the leaking tanker car into trucks on the street 50 feet above.
Fire trucks sprayed a steady stream of water over the area to control vapors.
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