BRUSSELS -- Belgian media say that hundreds of people were evacuated after a train carrying chemicals derailed and caught fire in northern Belgium.

Amateur video showed the train ablaze in the early hours of Saturday; in daylight, the train cars could be seen forming a zig-zag over the track.

Media, citing a statement from the East Flanders government, said that authorities were investigating if a death of someone in the area of the derailment was linked to the accident. The statement said 17 people were injured.

The fire was extinguished Saturday evening, the reports said. Houses within 500 meters of the train were evacuated – and residents were asked to stay away even after the fire went out. Others farther away were asked to stay at home and close their windows.

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  • A red flag blocks the tracks at the main train station in Ghent, western Belgium, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

  • The lights show red as a man crosses the rails at Schaarbeek rail station in Brussels, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

  • A jackdaw looks around on the platform of the deserted main train station in Ghent, western Belgium, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

  • A woman cycles through a deserted hall of the main train station in Ghent, western Belgium, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

  • A man walks in a deserted hall at the main train station in Ghent, western Belgium, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

  • Empty tracks at Schaarbeek train station in Brussels, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)