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Hundreds displaced by oil tanker derailment

Train carrying crude oil derails along Kanawha River in Fayette County
Train carrying crude oil derails along Kanawha River in Fayette County

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Hundreds have been displaced after at least three rail tankers carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire Monday afternoon along the Kanawha River in Fayette County.

Between 12 and 15 cars of a CSX train left the tracks and at least one car has gone into the river, confirmed Lawrence Messina, a spokesman for the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.

 According to the Bureau for Public Health, some oil has spilled into the river.

The derailment occurred at 1:20 p.m. Monday in an area known as Powellton Hollow near Adena Village and Mount Carbon.

Kelly Gillenwater, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman, said at least three tankers are involved in the fire, and while the DEP had sent two representatives to the scene, she had not heard an update.

Residents who saw the fire estimate flames reached 400 feet.

American Water spokeswoman Laura Jordan said the Montgomery water treatment plant, which draws water from the Kanawha a few miles downstream of the accident, was shut down at approximately 2:30 p.m. Monday.

The intake for Cedar Grove was shut down, as well.

Customers in the Montgomery area are asked to conserve water and use it only for essential functions at this time…

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