A cargo train of the Union Pacific Railroad derailed on a bridge near the Tempe Town Lake in Arizona at around 6:15 am on Wednesday (29) morning. The train was traveling to the suburb of Phoniex from Tucson. The train caught on fire and simultaneously, a part of the bridge’s structure collapsed and resulted in the cars falling into an empty park below the bridge.
Plumes of dark black smoke were seen ascending into the sky that morning from the site where the crash happened. Chief Greg Ruiz stated at a briefing that about a hundred firefighters were directed to the scene.
Around 8 to ten cars caught fire. The main focus of the mission was to prevent the fire from spreading to other cars, said Chief Ruiz. After the fire was put off, the firefighters continued to inspect the area for any other hotspots along the bridge. The crew also focused on preventing leakage of the hazardous substances in the train cars.
One of the cars that collapsed into the park below carried cyclohexanone and another contained a rubbery material. Investigations are currently being carried out to determine the cause of the derailment. A spokesman for the Union Pacific, Tim McMahan, stated that none of the cars displayed any signs of leakage. However, some hazardous material had seeped from a derailed car on to the dry bed region.
Residents of the area were advised to keep away from the area as it could be hazardous at the moment, said Chief Sylvia Moir of the Tempe Police. The bridge’s yearly survey was also held on the 9th of July.
No serious harm or injuries were reported at the site or to the people who may have been on the train at the time. However, one person was medicated for smoke inhalation and a firefighter for dehydration.
A resident of the area described the incident as a scene pulled out of hell.
Image Credits: Twitter/TempePolice