The operator of a freight train carrying corn syrup that derailed in western Arizona on Wednesday night said hours later a report showed the dangerous substance was on board.
The accident, near the town of Topok, Arizona, came less than six weeks after a train derailment in Ohio released toxic chemicals and sparked a national conversation about rail safety. During Wednesday night’s derailment, the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office said a BNSF-operated train was loaded with hazardous materials, briefly raising concerns about another incident of airborne toxicity.
But in a statement earlier Thursday, a BNSF spokeswoman said the train was carrying corn syrup when it derailed around 7:40 p.m.
“There were no injuries or injuries from the derailment and initial reports indicate no hazardous materials were involved,” spokeswoman Lena Kent said, adding an estimated eight train cars derailed and the cause was under investigation.
BNSF Operates a large freight rail network across North America.
Anita Mortensen, a spokeswoman for the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, said late Wednesday that the office had notified BNSF and the National Transportation Safety Board, which she said would respond to the incident. . The NTSB did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ms. Mortensen said the accident happened near Arizona’s borders with California and Nevada, where the tracks run parallel to Interstate 40.
Morgan Stessman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the weather was severe for the region Wednesday night: Between about 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., there were thunderstorms, pea-sized hail and an Two inches of rainfall serviced offices in Las Vegas. A tornado warning She said the weather continued until 5.45pm, with heavy rain from earlier in the day at high altitudes pouring into the area.
Ms Stersman said the derailment happened in a rural area about five or six miles east of Topok where a bridge crosses “wash ground”, a normally dry river channel where runoff occurs during heavy rains flow. emergency responders in the area.
It is unclear whether weather played a role in the derailment. Ms Stesman said while heavy rain and runoff was unlikely to wash away the bridge, rain could damage it or flood the tracks.
“They’re not sure and it’s really hard to tell because it was dark outside and it was dark when it happened,” she said, referring to the crew at the scene of the accident.
A train operated by the Norfolk Southern Company loaded with toxic chemicals in early February derailment in eastern ohio, ignited a fire that engulfed the eastern Palestinian town in thick smoke. That triggered evacuation orders, closed schools and roads and raised concerns about air and water quality.
Another Norfolk Southern train Derailed in Ohio on March 4. No hazardous material was involved, but the derailment has heightened concerns about rail safety and company performance.
On Tuesday, the Ohio Attorney General filed a federal lawsuit Against the Norfolk Southern Company, the charge that East Palestine’s derailment was the product of the company’s negligence and recklessness.
Company CEO Alan H. Shaw, told congress last week He was “deeply sorry” for the impact of the February accident.But he hasn’t committed to paying for long-term damage to communities, and he’s refusing to support bipartisan rail safety proposed legislation In the Senate a few days ago.