By Selam Gebrekidan NEW YORK (Reuters) - A CSX Corp train carrying crude oil derailed and burst into flames in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia on Wednesday, spilling oil into the James River and forcing hundreds to evacuate. CSX said 15 cars on a train traveling from Chicago to Virginia derailed at 2:30 p.m. EDT. Fire erupted on three cars, the company said. Photos and video from the scene showed high flames and a plume of black smoke. It was the second oil-train accident this year for CSX. About two hours after the derailment, CSX said the fire had been extinguished. City officials said there were no injuries, but 300-350 people were evacuated from the area. Around 6:00 p.m., residents were allowed to return to their homes. The fiery derailment a short distance from office buildings in the city of 77,000 was sure to bring more calls from environmentalists and activists for stricter regulations of the burgeoning business of shipping crude oil by rail. JoAnn Martin, the city's director of communications, said three or four tank cars were leaking, and burning oil was spilling into the river, which runs to Chesapeake Bay. She said firefighters were trying to contain the spill. Kathy Bedsworth, owner of the Carriage House Inn bed and breakfast in Lynchburg, the commercial hub of central Virginia, told Reuters flames streaked as high as 60 feet. "There was black, black, black smoke and huge billows of flames. The flames were taller than the buildings," she told Reuters over the phone after heading to the scene of the incident five blocks from her guest house. The U.S. Department of Transportation said it was sending Federal Railroad Administration inspectors to the scene. The National Transportation Safety Board was sending investigators. The Environmental Protection Agency said an official was heading there to help the state monitor air quality. There was no immediate information about the origin of the cargo or the train's final destination. One of the only oil facilities to the east of Lynchburg is a converted refinery in Yorktown, now a storage depot run by Plains All American. The company did not immediately reply to queries. It was not clear what caused the accident. CSX said it was "responding fully" with emergency personnel, safety and environmental experts. NEW RULES Several trains carrying crude have derailed over the past year. Last July, a runaway train in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, derailed and exploded, killing 47 people. In January, a CSX train carrying crude oil derailed in Philadelphia, nearly toppling over a bridge. With more trains hauling crude and flammable liquids across North America, U.S. regulators are expected soon to propose new rules for more robust tank cars to replace older models; Canadian authorities did so last week. "With this event, regulators could try to expedite the process, and they'll likely err on the side of the more costly safety requirements in order to reduce the risk of these accidents in the future," said Michael Cohen, vice president for research at Barclays in New York. Tougher rules could drive up costs for firms that lease tank cars and ship oil from the remote Bakken shale of North Dakota, which relies heavily on trains. It could also boost business for companies that manufacture new cars, such as Greenbrier Companies and Trinity Industries. Residents across the country have voiced concern about oil trains, often a mile long, passing near their communities, particularly in New York and the Pacific Northwest. Derailments have occurred in places as far removed as Alberta and Quebec in Canada, and North Dakota and Alabama in the United States. In Virginia, environmental groups including the Sierra Club and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation have opposed expansion of crude-by-rail shipments through the region to the Yorktown terminal, which can handle 140,000 barrels per day. CSX's route through populated areas like Lynchburg and the proximity to the James River have been mentioned as special concerns. "These trains started bringing Bakken crude oil through Virginia to the Yorktown facility last December," Virginia Chapter Director Glen Besa told Reuters. "This raises major questions, after numerous instances of derailments and explosions of Bakken crude on railroads in the last year. Now one of the questions is what the impact will be on the James River. Will this stuff sink or float?" In January, CSX Chief Executive Officer Michael Ward told analysts the company planned to boost crude-by-rail shipments by 50 percent this year. He said the Jacksonville, Florida-based railroad was working with U.S. regulators to address safety concerns in light of recent derailments and fires. (Reporting by Selam Gebrekidan, Joshua Schneyer, Anna Driver, Patrick Rucker, Josephine Mason, Ian Simpson; Editing by David Gregorio)
- The Daily Beast
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- WLS – Chicago
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A tweet from the Ohio Republican received a number of scathing responses online, with another critic simply writing, "oh shut up."
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- Patriot Ledger
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Greene's amendment failed by one of the most lopsided votes you'll ever see as Democrats and Republicans alike rejected it en masse.
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The Ohio Republican received a series of blunt reminders.
- Fox News
Lindsay Clancy, 32, allegedly strangled her three kids before attempting suicide
- Kansas City Star
The video shows a semi truck dragging a Kia along the highway with a woman inside. The truck driver drove for miles before police pulled him over.
- Cowboys Wire
The "hip-drop" tackle that left Pollard with a high ankle sprain and fractured fibula wasn't illegal, but the NFL may look at making it so. | From @ToddBrock24f7
- Cardinals Wire
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reports that the Cardinals will either work to hire Sean Payton or go with a second interview with ther candidates.
Tom Brady's Divorce From Gisele Bündchen Reportedly Took a Bigger Physical Toll Than Anyone Realized
Even though it was Tom Brady’s decision to unretire from the NFL, which led to his divorce from Gisele Bündchen, don’t think for a minute that the split didn’t affect him. One sports reporter is sharing how the athlete’s personal life impacted his mental and physical health during the football season. ESPN NFL reporter Jeff […]
- The Root
We Tried To Tell Y'all About Triflin' Amy Robach. Now, She's Allegedly Playing Victim Regarding T.J. Holmes' Past [UPDATED]
Updated 1/27/23 at 1:48 p.m E.T:
- Good Housekeeping
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- Marie Claire US
Paul Burrell says he's confused and hurt.
- Business Insider
A video of Tyre Nichols being killed by police is due to be released Friday. Even the police chief says what it shows is 'heinous' and 'inhumane.'
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- Southern Living
Whether she was cooking up Sunday dinner for the whole family or preparing side dishes for holiday gatherings, grandma knew that casseroles were the best way to serve up food that everyone would enjoy. This collection of grandma-approved casserole recipes will help you create the same welcoming feeling that you always felt as soon as you stepped foot into her kitchen and saw a baking dish(or two!) full of food ready to be enjoyed. While none of these casseroles will taste exactly like they did when grandma made them with love, we bet they’ll be pretty close.