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    Posted April 30, 2014 by
    Lynchburg, Virginia

    Train derails in downtown Lynchburg

    A CSX train carrying crude oil derailed Wednesday afternoon by the James River in downtown Lynchburg, prompting evacuations and sparking a massive fire that sent a thick column of black smoke high into the sky.

    Officials said 12 to 14 tanker cars were involved in the derailment, which happened shortly before 2 p.m. near Ninth and Jefferson streets. Three or four of the cars were breached, spilling oil into the river. The cause was not immediately known.

    Lynchburg City Manager Kimball Payne has declared a state of emergency. City officials say CSX representatives, and possibly the train company's CEO, are en route.

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