West Virginia train derailment: Huge fire forces two towns to evacuate
Two towns have been evacuated after a freight train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed and burst into flames in southern West Virginia on February 16.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin issues state of emergency in Kanawha, Fayette counties after train derailment.
At least 14 cars were affected and one plunged into the Kanawha River, state officials said.
Local websites published images of large flames and a thick plume of black smoke near a partly frozen river.
There are also reports that a train car crashed into a house, but there were no initial reports of fatalities.
Rail company CSX said in a statement that one person was being treated for potential inhalation, but no other injuries were reported.
Residents of Adena Village and Boomer have been urged to evacuate after the accident happened at 13:30.
State emergency response and environmental officials headed to the scene – a rural, coal mining area near Montgomery.
West Virginia American Water shut down a water treatment plant, located three miles away an hour after the derailment, spokeswoman Laura Jordan said. The plant serves about 2,000 customers.
The state was under a winter storm warning and getting heavy snowfall at times, with as much as five inches in some places. It is unclear whether the snow contributed to the crash.
The train consisted of two locomotives and 109 rail cars and was travelling from North Dakota to Yorktown, Virginia.
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