LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) -- Authorities are evacuating numerous buildings around a train derailment and fire along the James River in downtown Lynchburg, Va.
The city of Lynchburg on its website posted that the fire department was on the scene Wednesday afternoon and urged motorists and pedestrians to avoid the area.
No injuries were immediately reported.
Photos and video show several black tanker-like train cars derailed and extensive flames and smoke.
A phone message left by The Associated Press with the Lynchburg Police Department wasn't immediately returned.
Lynchburg is a city of about 77,000 people in the foothills of Blue Ridge Mountains. It is home to Liberty University and several others and is located about halfway between Baltimore and Charlotte, N.C.
Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement on the Commonwealth of Virginia’s response to the train derailment and fire in Lynchburg, Virginia:
“This afternoon my Public Safety team informed me of the train derailment and fire in Lynchburg. Immediately after those reports were received the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Virginia State Police, and the Virginia Department of Fire Programs were instructed to coordinate with local responders and mobilize the resources necessary to respond to this incident.
“Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Adam Thiel has been dispatched to the scene and will provide my team and me with constant updates as this situation unfolds. I have also spoken with Lynchburg Mayor Michael Gillette and offered him any and all resources he needs to respond to this incident and keep Virginians safe.”