CSX Train Derailment of Crude Oil Tanker Cars Cause Huge Fire, Spillage to Kanawha River, and Evacuations

Two towns were evacuated in West Virginia Monday, after a train carrying crude oil derailed and multiple tanker cars burst into flames and CSX railroad transportation company reported only one tanker was burning (Bryan Hughes of WOWK reports).

Boomer Fire Department responded about 1:30 p.m. Monday February 16, 2015 to a train derailment and fire near West Virginia State Route 61 and Armstrong Creek Road. The wrecked train consisted of two locomotives and 109 rail cars.

No fatalities have been reported, but at least six explosion were reported. The largest explosion involved a fire that consumed a house. Rescuers do not believe anyone was home at the time of the fire.

“CSX teams are working with first responders on the derailment this afternoon of an oil train near Mount Carbon, WV. At least one rail car appears to have ruptured and caught fire. The derailment has resulted in the precautionary evacuation of nearby communities, and precautionary suspension of operation at the Cedar Grove and Montgomery water treatment plants. CSX is working with the Red Cross and other relief organizations to address residents’ needs, taking into account winter storm conditions. These efforts include shelters for residents who have been evacuated. CSX teams also are working with first responders to address the fire, to determine how many rail cars derailed, and to deploy environmental protective and monitoring measures on land, air and in the nearby Kanawha River. The company also is working with public officials and investigative agencies to address their needs.”


According to Lawrence Messina, communications director for the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, at least one tanker, believed to contain crude oil, fell into the Kanawha River.

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Public Health reported that water intakes in Montgomery and Cedar Grove were closed because of the train train derailment along the Kanawha River, where some leaking crude oil is also feared to be spilled under frozen ice.

At 5:45 p.m. Monday, February 16, 2015, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) declared a state of emergency for Fayette and Kanawha Counties. The CSX train derailment lead to the evacuation of the Powelltown Hollow area, which includes Boomer and Adena Village.

A train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed in southern West Virginia on Monday, sending at least one into the Kanawha River, igniting at least 14 tankers and sparking a house fire.

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