Virginia Governor announces new rail safety task force - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Virginia Governor announces new rail safety task force

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LYNCHBURG, Va. - Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced a new Virginia rail safety task force during his stop in Lynchburg Friday morning.

Trains are moving again near the Depot Grille where last week a train derailed shooting flames hundreds of feet in the air.

It all happened just steps away from the Lynchburg restaurant.

"It's a huge weekend for us. There was a lot of impetus to get things back to normal for us," said Dave Pool from the Depot Grille.

Governor McAuliffe toured the derailment site from the ground and in the air talking with the fire chief and thanking emergency crews.

The governor says he has concerns.

"We were fortunate on this one but we've got to be ever vigilant to make sure that we're protecting the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia," said Gov. McAuliffe who announced a new rail safety task force that will look at railroads in Virginia. "Some of this cargo is going through densely populated areas some of this cargo is going very adjacent to rivers, the supplier of our drinking water so we ought to have everything on the table."

Gov. McAuliffe says recent spills are an issue.

"What happened with the North Carolina spill should give us all pause. What happened here should give us all pause. We are prepared for these types of things but I can tell you this as long as I'm governor we're not going to take any unwarranted risks. We're going to make prudent decisions, safety is the number one issue," said Gov. McAuliffe.

20;37:53 (brad ferguson , lynchburg fire chief)
we hope will be prepared if we have something else. let's hope we don't but the tracks are still here and i'm sure the railcars with stuff will still be coming through," said Brad Ferguson, the Lynchburg Fire Chief.

Chief Ferguson says overall he was happy with the response but they did learn how to improve evacuation and containment if there is a next time.

"It's good that we're getting some attention and figuring out better ways to do things," said Pool.

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