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'The whole sky turned black' Oil train derails in downtown Lynchburg; spill raises fears of damage to river

Some of oil spilled from train consumed by fire

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  • Train derailment

    A CSX train carrying crude oil derailed in downtown Lynchburg on Wednesday, setting off a massive explosion.

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Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 2:09 pm | Updated: 4:51 pm, Wed Apr 30, 2014.

About 50,000 gallons of crude oil were unaccounted for late Wednesday after a CSX train derailed in downtown Lynchburg and sent three flaming tanker cars careening into the James River.

The ensuing conflagration ignited oil on the surface of the river, sent flames and smoke hundreds of feet into the air, forced evacuations of downtown businesses and homes and rattled the nerves of hundreds of downtown workers.

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