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Oil Train Crash and 50-Foot Fireball in Lynchburg

The latest fiery oil train incident is in the WMRA area. In downtown Lynchburg, a CSX oil train derailed near the Depot Grille. Towering flames and a column of black smoke prompted a local state of emergency, evacuations, and warnings to avoid the area. [ UPDATE: here ]

Thankfully, there were no known injuries in the Wednesday, April 30 blaze.  Tanker cars spilled oil into the James River, there was potential to impair water supplies of downwater cities including Richmond. Federal officials, state agencies, and the governor's office are assisting.

The municipal website hadinitial reports, and Reuters has since added detail from various sources.  The New York Daily News has an eyewitness Instagram video filmed by Sheri Felipe.

Of course people with respiratory health issues should avoid the smoke area.

Responders planned to protect nearby structures and unexploded tank cars from catching fire, while also allowing the existing flames to burn themselves out. Workers at Griffin Pipe Foundry were told to shelter in place, according to a tv news video.  Roads with railroad crossings near the fire site may be blocked until the remainder of the long train can be moved.

This GoogleMaps Street View imagery shows the nearby buildings as they looked before the train crash. This GoogleMaps Street View imagery shows the active tracks and the riverside scrubland where most of the blazing tank cars settled (the James River flows just beyond the trees).


Image credit: GoogleMaps Classic

Terry Ward was a WMRA producer and announcer from 1997 to 2016.
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