NEW YORK – A CSX Corp train hauling crude derailed in West Virginia, setting 14 cars ablaze and forcing the evacuation of two nearby towns in the second significant oil-train incident in three days, local media reported on Monday.
At least one of the tank cars careened into the Kanawha River another plowed into a house before bursting into flames, wvgazette.com cited Lawrence Messina, communications director for the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, as saying in a report on its website.
WOWK television reported that the nearby towns of Adena Village and Boomer Bottom were being evacuated after the incident, which occurred at 1:30 p.m. EST (1830 GMT). There were no initial reports of any injuries or fatalities. A CSX spokesperson did not immediately reply to messages seeking comment.
It was not immediately clear where the train was heading or whose oil it was carrying. However, the crash occurred less than 200 miles (320 km) west of Lynchburg, Virginia, where another CSX train bound for an East Coast oil terminal run by Plains All American Pipelines derailed and erupted in flames last April.
Kanawha County Manager Jennifer Sayre told the Charleston Gazette that there was burning oil on the Kanawha River, and that county officials have told water company officials in Cedar Grove and Montgomery to shut down their water intakes.
Local websites showed images of large flames and a thick plume of black smoke near a partly frozen river, with a number of houses nearby.
The latest incident comes just two days after Canadian National Railways train from Alberta’s oil sands derailed in a remote wooded area of northern Ontario. CN said 29 of 100 cars were involved and seven caught fire. No injuries were reported, but the cars were still on fire on Monday.
A boom in oil shipments by rail and a spate of derailments across North America have put heightened focus on rail safety. In 2013, 47 people were killed in the Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic after a train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded. (by Jonathan Leff; Editing by Chris Reese and Tom Brown)
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