http://cnn.aimtoday.cnn.com/news/story.jsp?idq=/ff/story/0001%2F20050107%2F0724653790.htm&sc=1110&photoid=20050106SCMC113&phototerm=graniteville&maxphotos=5 GRANITEVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Eight people died from yellow fumes released when two trains collided early Thursday. A Norfolk Southern train crashed into another parked alongside the track. The wreck is the second in two months in the small textile mill town near the Georgia state line. In November, five people were killed when their car was hit by a train at a rail crossing. The moving train, headed from Augusta, Ga., to Columbia, was carrying the chlorine gas. The parked train didn't have anyone on board. All of Thursday's victims were men. Five were workers on the night shift at Avondale Mills Inc. plants nearby. One, a Canadian resident, died in a truck near the plant and one man died at his home. The train engineer died at a hospital. Autopsies are planned Friday, but authorities said all appeared to have died from inhaling the chlorine gas. More than 240 people sought treatment for respiratory and other ailments. The toxic gas kept investigators from reaching the site Thursday and officials don't know how the two trains ended up on the same track, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway said. The leak had slowed considerably Thursday night as Norfolk Southern workers prepared to remove rail cars from the track, said state Department of Health and Environmental Control spokesman Thom Berry. There were at least three hazardous chemicals on the train, Berry said, but officials were most concerned about the chlorine gas, which affects respiratory and central nervous systems. It can damage the throat, nose, eyes and can cause death. Most of the 5,400 residents living within a mile of the wreck site were evacuated about 12 hours after the 2:40 a.m. wreck. Until then, residents had been told by authorities to stay inside homes and turn their ventilation systems off. About a dozen people refused to evacuate, but Berry said he did not expect them to be in danger overnight. Margie West didn't want to leave her cats or her comfy home when sheriff's deputies showed up at her door with an evacuation order. They wanted her to go to a shelter to get away from the toxic chlorine fumes enveloping her neighborhood. West pooh-poohed them, thinking she would wait it out at home. Then, they asked for her next-of-kin in case she died. ``Well, I have asthma,'' she said, ``and if anything happened I didn't want to die in the night.'' By the time the evacuation order was issued, some had already experienced the skin- and eye-burning sensations associated with chlorine contact. Cindy Britt, 39, said her throat had begun feeling clogged early in the day, and it took little convincing from deputies to get her out of her home. She sat Thursday in donated clothes on a blue cot in a makeshift shelter at the University of South Carolina-Aiken. She had turned the clothes and shoes she was wearing in to authorities. ``She forced me out,'' said Cindy's husband, Randy Britt. ``I was just going to shut the car in the garage and watch TV.'' 01/07/05 07:24 © Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained In this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.