Why on earth are dangerous oil trains allowed anywhere near populated areas? It’s utterly insane. The latest example of what can happen is in Lynchburg, Virginia, where “[a] freight train owned by CSX Corporation has erupted in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia,” sending “‘flames stories high’ into the air, creating a large black cloud.” In addition, the RTD reports, the derailment has spilled “oil into the James River upstream from Richmond’s primary water supply.” Ugh.
P.S. Thankfully, this accident wasn’t as destructive as the Lac-Mégantic derailment on July 6, 2013, which destroyed roughly half the downtown area and killed nearly 50 people. Meanwhile, this is the second fossil fuel mess that’s threatened Virginians’ drinking water in the past few months, the other one being the coal ash spill in the Dan River.
UPDATE: Gov. McAuliffe has issued a statement.
“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.”
I can’t even tell you how much this pisses me off. Earth to humanity: GET OFF OF FOSSIL FUELS NOW!