A CSX train carrying crude oil derailed Wednesday afternoon by the James River in downtown Lynchburg, sparking a massive fire that sent a thick column of black smoke high into the sky.
Officials said 12 to 14 tanker cars were involved, but what caused the derailment is unclear. Three or four of the cars were breached, spilling oil into the river.
The accident occurred very near downtown, but so far there are no official reports of injuries or death. Some of the oil is clearly in the James River, and several tank cars are in the river itself.
We're in our Spring Fund Drive—make a gift now to support more research like this!
East Coast Drone sent a drone over the site of the train wreck. The footage is astonishing.
Apparently emergency crews were not able to quickly respond because the blaze may be too dangerous to approach.
Things to remember:
- The industry has no plans to remove any of the unsafe tank cars from service.
- Federal safety investigators have known for years that these tank cars are unsafe.
- The Northwest has 11 active oil-by-rail proposals that would move 14 loaded oil trains each day through the region. Oil trains are already moving through major cities.