By Katie Kieffer
Like a king cobra on speed, the CSX oil train cut through the falling snow and rolled along the tracks at 33 m.p.h.—transporting 3 million gallons of highly-flammable crude. But the convoy was a poor match for its cargo. At 1:20 p.m. Eastern time on February 16—35 miles outside of Charleston, West Virginia—the 109-car train derailed.
Fireballs sliced through the cold air; a house was leveled in flames; hundreds of home owners lost electricity and drinking water; and a Kanawha River tributary oozed with oil. One man told the Los Angeles Times that the spill emanated heat like an “atomic bomb.” Continue reading