LYNCHBURG, VA - First responders are on the scene of a train derailment near Ninth Street in downtown Lynchburg. Flames and black smoke can be seen billowing into the sky.
About 12 to 14 cars of a CSX train have derailed - three or four are breached and leaking crude oil, according to Joanne Martin with the City of Lynchburg, some of which has leaked into the James River.
"It twisted several other cars... And immediately after that there was an explosion about six cars back is what I counted when I went out and took the pictures a huge fireball shot up into the sky that you will see in the pictures that was at like," said Don Hullings, who works two blocks from where the train derailed.
Hullings' office is on the ninth floor, and he saw the train derail, saying that tanker trains frequently pass through.
"It was not moving at any significant speed or anything like that I watched and it looked like one car started to tilt and it rolled it actually rolled and you could see it laying on its side toward the James River," Hullings said.
The City of Lynchburg has stated on their Twitter feed that the fire department "has assessed the situation and is allowing the fire to burn out."
Martin said 300 people have been evacuated from nearby buildings, but no injuries have been reported at this time.
By Susie Madrak — April 30, 2014