State of Emergency in downtown Lynchburg, train carrying oil derails and bursts into flames

Depot Grille LynchburgBy Lynn R. Mitchell

The Richmond Times-Dispatch has a photo and video of an oil fire in downtown Lynchburg after a train derailed and dcught on fire, sending billowing black smoke into the air:

Lynchburg has declared a state of emergency and Richmond has begun to switch to an alternate water supply after a train carrying crude oil derailed today, spilling oil into the James River upstream from Richmond’s primary water supply.

Oiled that spilled into the James River has caused headaches downstream in Richmond with the water supply.

If you’ve been to that renovated area of the city known as the historic riverfront district, it’s a unique experience that includes restaurants, hotels, and other businesses on the riverfront where railroad tracks run along the James River. The Lynchburg Depot Grille, just as popular as the Staunton location, is in that area. Nearby downtown Lynchburg was evacuated after the derailment.

Governor Terry McAuliffe released a statement offering any resources needed by Lynchburg:

“This afternoon my Public Safety team informed me of the train derailment and fire in Lynchburg. Immediately after those reports were received the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Virginia State Police, and the Virginia Department of Fire Programs were instructed to coordinate with local responders and mobilize the resources necessary to respond to this incident.

 “Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Adam Thiel has been dispatched to the scene and will provide my team and me with constant updates as this situation unfolds. I have also spoken with Lynchburg Mayor Michael Gillette and offered him any and all resources he needs to respond to this incident and keep Virginians safe.”

This is an ever-changing story. Read more at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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