Detroit — Firefighters on Thursday responded to a train derailment in Southwest Detroit that left 11 cars off the tracks, officials said.

Dave Fornell, deputy commissioner of the Detroit Fire Department, said the incident happened at Scotten Avenue near Clark Street.

A haz-mat team was at the scene to deal with four empty railcars that had residual traces of liquid asphalt, although Canadian National Railroad spokesman Jonathan Abecassis said no dangerous materials leaked out. 

One railcar was cleaned and purged of any previous content, he said. The cause of the derailment is under investigation.

"CN crews are responding to an incident involving a CN train that occurred this morning in southwest Detroit," the company said in a statement. "There are no injuries, no fires and no loaded railcars carrying dangerous goods involved."

Fornell said authorities, including police officers, fire fighters, officials with DTE Energy and the railroad have set up a unified command center "so everyone knows what everyone is doing."

City officials said until the derailed train is cleared, Clark, Scotten and Vinewood streets between Michigan Avenue and Brandon have been closed as a precaution. They also said it may take several hours to move the train.

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez

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