Oil spill in Fayette County, West Virginia train derailment. One railcar, maybe more,
has gone into the Kanawha River.
Another train carrying crude oil has gone off the tracks and is on fire. Marcus Constantino at The Charleston Daily Mail reports:
Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety spokesman Lawrence Messina said a CSX train carrying crude oil and possibly other cargo derailed in the Mount Carbon area of Fayette County about 1:20 p.m. Monday. A Fayette County 911 dispatcher confirmed that oil is leaking from the wreckage.
Photos from the scene have shown thick, black smoke and fireballs shooting hundreds of feet into the sky.
“At least one, possibly more, rail cars have gone into the Kanawha River,” Messina said. “A house fire occurred as a result of the derailment. We’re told that emergency responders are having a hard time reaching the house fire because of the derailment.”
That's not unusual these days because 10 times as much crude oil is being transported by rail than a decade ago. In the United States, that's about 9 million barrels a day.
Over the weekend, according the FuelFix.com:
Canadian National Railway Co. shut its main line linking western and eastern Canada after an eastbound train carrying crude oil derailed in Ontario.
The train of 100 cars, all carrying crude from Canada’s oil-producing region of Alberta to eastern Canada, derailed just before midnight Saturday in a remote and wooded area about 30 miles north of Gogama, Ontario, spokesman Patrick Waldron said in an e-mail. About 18 freight trains a day use the line, he said. A total of 29 cars were involved in the incident and seven caught fire. The remaining 71 cars were moved from the site, Waldron said. Some oil was spilled.
Shipments scheduled along the affected corridor will be delayed by at least 24 hours, the company said.
Transporting crude oil by rail is more hazardous than transporting it by pipeline, although more oil is usually spilled when a pipeline breaks. Rail accidents have been on the rise as the total number of carloads has risen from a couple of thousand 10 years ago to more than 450,000 last year.