Fire authorities said Friday it could take two to three days to clean up a hazardous spill from a railcar near Perris, and there is a possibility of an explosion from the chemicals in the tanker.

The hazardous spill from a railcar tanker led to closure of the Escondido (215) Freeway north of Perris Friday, and 170 residences were ordered evacuated because of the spill, which authorities say is a highly flammable chemical.

“This could resolve itself in two days, but it could get worse before it gets better,” Cal Fire Division Chief John Crater said at a news conference Friday morning. “They’ve also said due to the heat building in the car, that builds pressure and it could have a release, meaning some sort of violent explosion, that’s why we’re taking an abundance of caution with this.”

A half mile perimeter has been established around the leaking railcar.

The spill at Harvill and Oleander avenues was first reported around 7:30 p.m. Thursday and led to the closure of the 215 Freeway south of Van Buren and north of Ramona Expressway, the Riverside County Fire Department posted on Twitter.

Harvill Road was closed, and evacuations were ordered in an area north of Markham Street, east of Donna Lane, south of Nandina Avenue and west of Patterson Avenue, the fire department reported.

An evacuation center for those affected by the spill was opened at Pinacate Middle School, 1990 South A St., in Perris.

The leak’s source was coming from a rail car. A chemical called styrene, used to make rubber and latex, was leaking from the rail car, fire authorities said.

Metrolink service has been interrupted through the area. Passengers of train 701 between Moreno Valley and downtown Riverside are eligible for $50 reimbursements.

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