Major fire after US train derails

Published: Tuesday 17th February 2015 by The News Editor

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A train carrying crude oil derailed in southern West Virginia, igniting at least 14 tankers and sparking a house fire, officials said.

One person was being treated for potential inhalation issues, but no other injuries were reported, according to CSX, the train company.

Nearby residents were told to evacuate as state emergency response and environmental officials headed to Mount Carbon, about 30 miles from Charleston.

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 not clear if the weather had anything to do with the derailment, which occurred about 1.20pm local time, along a flat stretch of rail.

As railway and hazardous materials officials were heading to the scene, the company said it is still investigating what caused the train, carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil, to come off the tracks

Public safety spokesman Lawrence Messina said responders at the scene reported one tanker and possibly another went into the Kanawha river. He said local emergency responders were having trouble getting to the house that caught fire.

Kanawha county manager Jennifer Sayre said a reported 14 to 17 tankers caught fire or exploded.

James Bennett, emergency services co-ordinator for Fayette County, said a couple of hundred families were evacuated as a precaution.

The office of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, which has issued a state of emergency, said the tanker cars were loaded with Bakken crude from North Dakota and headed to Yorktown, Virginia.

Published: Tuesday 17th February 2015 by The News Editor

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