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Derailment Causes Evacuation in Lynchburg, Oil Spill

Authorities evacuated several buildings around a train derailment and fire along the James River in downtown Lynchburg yesterday. A pillar of black smoke billowed over downtown Lynchburg after a CSX train carrying crude oil jumped its tracks and caught fire….between 12 and 14 cars were involved during the derailment, which left oil burning along the river’s surface.  About 50 thousand gallons are missing and it is still unclear how  much of it burned and how much spilled into the water.  Downstream, both Richmond and Chesterfield utilities have taken precautions in case of water contamination.  Environmentalist say it highlights a new danger of massive oil transports by rail… through major Virginia cities from North Dakota on its way to a storage depot in Yorktown.  No one was killed or injured. DEQ says it’s too early to tell what  the environmental impact would be.  The National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation.  CSX hazardous materials experts were expected to continue cleanup operations today.