LATEST DERAILMENT: WV train derailment causes massive fire, evacuations (raw video)

Repost from The Los Angeles Times

West Virginia train derailment causes massive fire, evacuations

By Ryan Parker, Feb 16, 2015, 1:31pm

A train derailment Monday afternoon in West Virginia caused multiple explosions and a massive fire, officials said.

At least one home near the derailment in Fayette County caught fire and has been destroyed, according to Lawrence Messina, the state’s public safety spokesman.

The derailment happened about 1:20 p.m. Eastern time, Messina said. Three hours later, the fire was still burning, he said.

The CSX train was hauling crude oil, which is leaking from at least one of the cars, Messina said. There are no reported injuries, he said.

“Our concern is oil is leaking into the Kanawha River,” he said. Two water intakes downstream from the treatment plant have been shut down, he said.

CSX acknowledged that the company was aware of the situation. “We are working with first responders on the scene to ensure the safety of the community,” it said on Twitter.

Some of the tanker cars exploded, and oil on a portion of the river is on fire, according to the office of Kanawha County Emergency Management & Floodplain Management, which was assisting in the response.

Kanawha County is downriver from Fayette County.

Adena Village, near the derailment, has been evacuated, and authorities were beginning to evacuate homes across the river from the fire about 4:30 p.m., Messina said. At least 100 people have been evacuated, he said.

Fayette County is about 60 miles southeast of Charleston.

Pictures on social media, which a spokesman for the Montgomery Fire Department confirmed were of the scene, showed fire engulfing the train.

Heavy snow is falling in the area, but Messina said it is unclear if that will help extinguish the fire.