Train Derails in US, Oil spills Into River

Train Derails in US, Oil spills Into RiverTrain Derails in US, Oil spills Into River

A train hauling crude oil derailed and exploded in West Virginia, displacing up to 1,000 residents and contaminating the local water supply.

At least 27 of the train’s more than 100 cars veered off the tracks, the West Virginia department of public safety said. At least 15 of the derailed cars caught fire. One home was destroyed, and one person was injured, CNN reported.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued a state of emergency for Kanawha and Fayette counties. About 1,000 were displaced due to the threat of fire or from power outages caused by the fire, Messina said.

Oil from the train spilled into the Kanawha River - a source of drinking water in Kanawha and Fayette counties. Even parts of the river caught fire amid the explosions.

At least two water treatment plants shut down Monday night as officials investigate how much oil may have spilled into the river, according to reports. About 2,000 people were at risk of losing water service.

“Customers in the Montgomery area are asked to conserve water and only use it for essential functions,” West Virginia American Water said in a statement.

The heat from the flames was so intense Monday night that crews couldn’t get closer to investigate until at least Tuesday.

Some train cars exploded at unpredictable intervals, shocking residents with each deafening blast.

“We were standing down by the river bank when we saw the train explode - or a car explode - and it shot up a mushroom cloud,” a witness described.

Responding to a series of fiery train crashes, including one this spring in Lynchburg, Virginia, the government proposed rules in July that would phase out tens of thousands of older tank cars that carry increasing quantities of crude oil and other highly flammable liquids. It’s not clear how old the tankers were on the derailed train.