Dark clouds of thick, black smoke belted with flames soared into the sky above downtown Lynchburg, Va., Wednesday afternoon as authorities evacuated several buildings in the area, The Associated Press reported.
We are asking that everyone avoid the downtown area of Lynchburg, VA until further notice. pic.twitter.com/Wv6pmOykhI— City of Lynchburg (@lynchburggov) April 30, 2014
"Lynchburg officials are reporting that between 12 and 14 CSX tanker cars carrying crude oil were involved in the train derailment in downtown Lynchburg causing extensive flames and dense black smoke," city officials reported.
At around 2 p.m. when the incident occurred, dense fog hovered throughout the area, which reduced visibility to under a mile, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Carl Erickson said.
Update Train Derailment: Tanker cars carrying crude oil, 3-4 tanker cars breached, 13-14 tanker cars involved.— City of Lynchburg (@lynchburggov) April 30, 2014
There have been no injuries reported at this time, according to the city's news release.
"People in the general area have been evacuated, and both motorists and pedestrians are being cautioned to avoid the area until further notice," city officials reported.
TRAIN DERAILMENT UPDATE: There is NO IMPACT on City drinking water due to spillage of crude oil in James River.— City of Lynchburg (@lynchburggov) April 30, 2014
The fire was reported along the James River. No contamination of drinking water due to the oil spill has been reported.
Erickson said storms will approach the region into the evening hours.
"There will be some showers and, as with any storm, you can have some gusty winds move through," he said, citing trouble in firefighting efforts and spread of the fire.
Erickson said after midnight the storms should begin to taper off.