A train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in a rural part of Alabama on Friday morning.
Twenty of the 90 cars derailed, with 11 left burning by the railway. The flames reached 300ft into the sky, reports Reuters.
The train, run by operator Montreal Maine & Atlantic, was being driven by two engineers, who were both unharmed. It derailed four miles outside of Aliceville, Alabama.
The cause of the accident is not yet clear but it has been reported that early indications suggest a train engineer did not brake sufficiently on an incline.
Two students were hunting in the woods around the train tracks when the derailment happened.
They ran to the aid of the train's two conductors, who they helped drive away before the explosions happened.
According to the Daily Mail, one student said: "I saw this glowing light through the trees, I thought, it looked like the sun was coming up.
"The force of the explosion was so strong, it shook the earth. Really, it was like an earthquake, it felt like an earthquake."
The train was carrying crude oil from Amory, Mississippi, to a terminal in Walnut Hill, Florida, that is owned by Genesis Energy. It was to be pumped into a regional pipeline and delivered to an 80,000-barrel-per-day Shell Chemicals plant near Mobile, Alabama, reports Reuters.
After the fire burns out over the next few days, federal and railway officials will investigate what caused the accident.
Train crash in Missouri brings down road bridge
Passengers evacuated after train wheel catches fire in Kent