WASHINGTON: A massive blaze started after an oil freight train derailed in the US state of West Virginia was still burning Tuesday as emergency crews looked to contain the fire and protect nearby homes.
The huge plume of fire that rose above the towns of Mount Carbon and Deep Water Monday has been reduced to smoldering flames, said Terrance Lively, spokesman at the state’s emergency response office.
“The conditions are improving, it’s more smoldering now than it had been.”
When the 109-car CSX freight train crashed, local residents reported hearing a loud explosion and then feeling waves of heat.
The crash prompted an evacuation of homes in the vicinity of the blaze and about 80 people took refuge in emergency shelters overnight.
Emergency crews managed to uncouple sections of the train, and and now only 19 cars remained near the blaze, Lively said.
A home was destroyed by the fire and several others were damaged, he said.
According to a CSX statement, one person was treated for “respiratory problems.”
The flames cut power to around 700 residents in the area and prompted a boil-water advisory for the towns after water treatment plants were affected.
The US Department of Transportation is in charge of investigating the cause of the crash, which occurred on a run from Nebraska to Virginia.