Train derailment sends oil cars into Kanawha River; explosion, fire

[colored_box color=green]A fire burns Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, after a train derailment near Charleston, W.Va. Nearby residents were told to evacuate as state emergency response and environmental officials headed to the scene. (AP Photo/The Register-Herald, Steve Keenan)[/colored_box]

Train derailment sends oil cars into Kanawha River; explosion, fire

By  in News | February 16, 2015 at 2:31PM

MOUNT CARBON, W.Va. — Multiple tanker cars of a crude oil train derailed Monday afternoon near Mount Carbon in Fayette County.  Some of those cars went into the Kanawha River and are on fire.

The derailment caused an explosion and the resulting fire destroyed at least one residence.

The CSX train jumped the tracks at about 1:20.  Eyewitness Randy Fitzwater of Boomer said he thought a plane had crashed.

“I heard this loud noise. It sounded like a jet airplane flew over my house and then I heard an explosion,” Fitzwater told Metronews.  “I looked across the river and I could see this big ball of flame.”  (Listen to Fitzwater’s full interview above.)

State Public Safety spokesman Larry Messina said the derailment caused an oil leak. He said first responders were having trouble making it to the scene because of road conditions from the snowstorm and the derailment itself.

Residents in the Mount Carbon, Adena Village area, which is just a few miles from Montgomery on state Route 61, were being evacuated. Also residents across the River in Boomer were told to leave their homes.   Governor Tomblin’s Office says water intakes at Montgomery and Cedar Grove have been closed. Residents are asked to conserve water.

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