Messina said the hardened tar could complicate cleanup efforts.
The train had five locomotives and 111 cars and was about 7,000 feet long. It was headed from Bellevue, Ohio, to Linwood, N.C.
Nobody was reported injured in the derailment, and no residents were evacuated. Sidote said the rail line runs adjacent to U.S. 52 but that the wreck did not cause the highway to be closed.
Messina said the damaged tracks are on a major artery for Norfolk Southern.
He said officials hope to get line repaired by 3 p.m. today.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.