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What is the chemical involved in the Dupo train derailment?

According to Union Pacific the tank car that caught on fire contained methyl isobutyl ketone. But, what is it and what can happen if you're exposed to it?

DUPO, Ill. — A train derailment in Dupo, Illinois, sparked a large fire and sent thick, black smoke billowing into the air Tuesday afternoon. The smoke was so heavy it could be seen from miles away.

According to Union Pacific, the train was getting ready for department when the derailment happened, which caused a tank car to catch on fire.

‘Initial information from the scene indicates that the tank car contains a flammable liquid called methyl isobutyl ketone.

So, what is a methyl isobutyl ketone?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, methyl isobutyl ketone is used to dissolve gums, resins, paints, varnishes and lacquers. It also can be used in the extraction of rare metals and as a synthetic flavoring adjuvant.

Exposure to the flammable liquid can irritate the eyes and cause weakness, headache, nausea, lightheadedness, vomiting and dizziness.

RELATED: Schools, homes evacuated following fire after train derailment in Metro East

At this time, officials said they aren’t aware of any injuries, but they aren’t taking any chances as far as people who live close to the fire scene.

They’ve evacuated several schools in the Dupo School District. All students and staff are being taken to Columbia High School.

Several dozen homes in the nearby area also have been evacuated.

Click here to get the latest information on the fire.