Fire erupts, bridge collapses as freight train derails in Arizona

A freight train in Arizona derailed Wednesday morning causing a bridge to collapse and sparking a fire that shut down traffic in the area. Photo by Sylvia Moir/Twitter

July 30 (UPI) — A freight train derailed in Arizona on Wednesday morning causing a fire and the collapse of a bridge more than 100 years old.

Tim McMahan, a Union Pacific Railroad spokesman, said the train derailed at about 6:15 a.m. while crossing the bridge as eight to 10 cars caught fire and the bridge’s south side collapsed.

“The south side of the bridge collapsed and rail cars fell into an empty park below,” Union Pacific said. “Three tank cars were on the ground under the bridge. Two contained cyclohexanone; one contained a rubber material. None are reported leaking and no tank cars were involved in the fire.”

The train crew was uninjured but one person was treated for smoke inhalation and no deaths have been reported, Tempe Mayor Corey Woods and police Chief Sylvia Moir said.

“The No. 1 thing when someone like me gets out of bed and they see what happened with this train derailment and the collapse of the bridge, that is the main thing we look for is: ‘Is everyone OK, did anyone get hurt?'” Woods said. “And I’m pleased to report that so far we have definitely not gotten any reports of any fatalities as a result of this incident.”

More than 90 firefighters were sent to the scene along with hazardous materials crews as lumber being carried on the line caught fire in the blaze.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the case and has begun the fact-gathering stage.

Loop 202, a major roadway in the Phoenix area, was closed in both directions near the fire.


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