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Train Derails, Erupts into Fireball in West Virginia

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Train Derails, Erupts into Fireball in West Virginia

Train Derails, Erupts into Fireball in West Virginia

A fireball erupted from a derailed CSX Corp train hauling North Dakota crude in West Virginia on Monday, lighting train cars on fire, destroying a house, and forcing the evacuation of two towns.

Initial reports claimed that at least one of the tank cars had fallen into the river, but CSX said Tuesday that that was not the case. Amazingly, no deaths were reported; however, one person was treated for potential fume inhalation. As of Tuesday, the train was still on fire and leaking oil, according to Reuters.

The train was hauling 109 cars from North Dakota to the coastal town of Yorktown, Virginia, where midstream firm Plains All American Pipelines runs an oil depot. According to West Virginia State Police First Sergeant Greg Duckworth, who was at the crash site, nine or 10 of the cars erupted into flames at intervals of about every half hour. He told Reuters that all but 14 of the cars had been pulled out of the danger zone.

The derailment occurred at 1:20 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST) about 33 miles southeast of Charleston, and less than 200 miles west of Lynchburg, Virginia, where another CSX train also destined for Yorktown derailed and exploded last April, Reuters reported.

The train was hauling newer model tank cars, not the older versions widely criticized as prone to puncture. U.S and Canadian authorities are working to phase out older models after a series of serious accidents. According to Reuters, the U.S. Transportation Department has recommended that the newer models be upgraded with better braking systems and thicker hulls.

CSX said the cleanup will begin when the company can safely reach the site. A spokesperson for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection told Reuters that a nearby water treatment plant has been closed.

Just two days before the West Virginia derailment, a Canadian National Railways train from Alberta’s oil sands derailed in a 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 engulfed on Monday, Reuters reported. disclaimer: This article: Train Derails, Erupts into Fireball in West Virginia was posted on Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 at 11:11 pm at and is filed under Other Lawsuits, Toxic Substances Lawsuits.

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