WASHINGTON, April 30 (Xinhua) -- A transportation train carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire in downtown Lynchburg, the U.S. state of Virginia, Wednesday afternoon, leaking crude oil into a local river, local authorities and the transportation company confirmed.
Fifteen rail cars derailed as the freight train was traveling from Chicago, Illinois, to Virginia at 2:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday in the city of Lynchburg, the CSX Corporation, the owner of the train, confirmed in a statement.
An initial assessment indicated that three of the cars were ablaze, but the fire was soon put out.
Lynchburg officials said the derailment caused extensive flames and densely black smoke, but there were no reported injuries.
Local authorities had hundreds of residents in the affected area evacuated, while motorists and pedestrians were told to avoid the downtown area of Lynchburg.
The spill of crude oil into James River in the wake of the derailment didn't have any impact on the city's drinking water, said the Lynchburg government via its Twitter account.
The cause of the derailment is not immediately known.