Oil train car derails, catches fire in Tennessee

A train car carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire in Tennessee early on Thursday morning. 

The train, operated by CSX, derailed near Maryville, the company said. 

"Around midnight, a train en route from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Waycross, Ga., derailed the single-tank car loaded with acrylonitrile, a hazardous material used in a variety of industrial processes including the manufacture of plastics," CSX said in a statement. "The substance is flammable and presents an inhalation risk. First responders have ordered an evacuation of residences and businesses in a two-mile radius."


The train, which was being powered by two locomotives, had 27 cars that were full of crude oil, according to the company. Another 18 cars were carrying other types of freight and 12 cars were empty.  

CSX officials said they are "working with first responders and relief agencies."

"CSX personnel are on hand at an Outreach Center that has been established at Heritage High School," the company said. "Displaced residents are being offered assistance, including lodging."

The incident is the latest in a series of high-profile accidents in recent years that have spurred regulators in the United States and Canada to crack down on oil trains, which have grown in number by more than 4,000 percent during the domestic oil production boom.

The Federal Railroad Administration is promising to quickly launch an investigation of the derailment. 

"Overnight, a tank car on a CSX train derailed near Maryville, Tennessee," acting FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg said in a statement. "First responders are on the scene, and residents within a two-mile radius were evacuated. FRA investigators and hazmat inspectors are on site. Once it is safe, FRA will begin a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the derailment.”