Law Enforcement Officials Say Train Carrying Hazardous Materials Has Derailed - Railroad Company Objects
A derailment Wednesday night in western Arizona involved a train that was initially “reported as carrying hazardous materials” by local media, but the story has since changed.
The incident took place about nine miles east of the California border, near the small, unincorporated town of Topock, home to a little over 2,000 residents.
Phoenix’s KSAZ-TV reported at 9:32 p.m. Wednesday that Mohave County Sheriff’s Office officials had confirmed that derailment and had described the train as carrying hazardous materials, though they said no spill had been reported.
The National Transportation Safety Board and BNSF Railway had both been notified and were opening investigations, according to the outlet.
Less than nine hours later, CNN was reporting that the sheriff’s office had stated only that the train “may have been carrying hazardous materials,” and that the actual cargo consisted of corn syrup.
“BNSF Railway can confirm that a train carrying corn syrup derailed” about 7:40 p.m., BNSF’s Lena Kent told CNN in an email.
“There were no injuries as a result of the derailment and preliminarily reports indicate there are no hazardous materials involved,” she added.
Eight cars were estimated to have derailed at the time of that report and were blocking the track, with no time frame given for the track’s reopening.
The cause was still under investigation.
A sheriff’s office spokeswoman said that no spills had apparently occurred as a result of the derailment.
ABC News spoke to a local resident who had driven to the site of the derailment after hearing about it on a police scanner.
“Being in my own town, it was definitely one of those like ‘Wow, is this actually happening?’” Chris Higa told ABC.
“Kicking on that light bar, my vehicle, I could see the part of the train, and it was like, wow, there’s an actual train in the middle of the desert,” he said.
Higa said storm runoff might have impacted the tracks. The area had been under a tornado warning earlier that evening, ABC reported, and there was local flooding as well.
However, it didn’t seem to Higa that any of the train’s cargo had spilled.
“I didn’t notice anything out of the blue, there was no smell. It was just that humid air,” he said.
“There was no discoloration in the air, anything of any chemicals, no glowing of anything,” he added.
Amtrack canceled at least one train in the area due to the derailment, ABC reported.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.