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February 18th, 2015

Train Carrying Crude Oil Derails, Explodes in West Virginia

A train carrying more than 100 crude oil tankers derailed and exploded in West Virginia on Monday, leading to an evacuation of nearby residents, destroying a home, and spilling oil into the Kanawha River.

One person was treated for smoke inhalation but there were no other injuries reported.

Residents were evacuated due to the risk of fire and power outages related to the fire, according to Lawrence Messina, spokesman for the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.

Of the 109 cars on the train, 26 of them left the tracks. At least one tanker went into the river and as many as 17 caught fire or exploded. The tanker cars, each of which carries up to 30,000 gallons of crude, exploded at random intervals even up to 10 hours after the derailment occurred.

Drinking water and electricity were cut off in the area after the incident but were being restored by Tuesday evening; initial tests showed no crude oil near intake points for nearby water plants.

The cause of the derailment is under investigation.

The train, operated by CSX Corp., was hauling North Dakota crude oil to Yorktown, Virginia. According to the company, the tank cars involved were CPC 1232s, a new model that safety regulators have promoted as safer than older DOT-111 tank car models.

When you suffer injuries or financial damages as the result of a train accident, it’s important to consult an attorney who is experienced in the laws and regulations that govern railroad transportation. With more than 100 years of combined experience, the railroad accident lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers understand every inch of these complex rules and will make the law work for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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