Freight train derailed in Arizona causing massive fire and collapse of bridge over Tempe Town Lake
A train derailed on early Wednesday in Arizona caused a bridge over Tempe Town Lake to partially collapse.
A Union Pacific train derailed around 6:09 a.m. on July 29, according to the officials and Tempe Fire Department is not stating the cause of the derailment as the investigation is ongoing.
It was reported that some of the train’s cars were carrying cyclohexanone, a flammable oily liquid which was leaked when the accident happened. This sparked the fire on the rail bridge over Tempe Town Lake in the result of which 8 to 10 train cars were caught ablaze. Almost a hundred firefighters fought the fire on the damaged bridge
According to the fire officials, the fire was designated as a four-alarm. No one of the train crew were injured but there was a report of a person suffering from smoke inhalation as the smoke from burning cyclohexanone is toxic.
Three cars, which were tank cars, fell into the park below. It was also reported that there was no leak into Tempe Town Lake. Other cars were loaded with limber which was also caught on fire.
According to FOX 10 Phoenix, Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir talked during a news conference on July 29 about what could happen.
"Our understanding is that for this structure, it’ll take quite some time for structural integrity and open it up for folks to travel freely. Same for the lake," said Chief Moir. "We take it very seriously the conditions of our beautiful Tempe Town Lake, and we want to make sure it’s safe for people to enjoy, so that will take some time."
Service Alert-Update: Due to a heavy rail incident in Tempe, Valley Metro light rail trains are rerouting at Mill Ave/3rd St and 50th St/Wash. Buses are being assembled to ferry passengers around the incident. Expect light rail service. #vmservice— Valley Metro (@valleymetro) July 29, 2020
— Tempe Police (@TempePolice) July 29, 2020
The collapse of the bridge could raise the questions about its condition before the accident. The latest inspection of the bridge was held on July 9, according to Union Pacific, but the maintaining company didn’t release the results. Recall, earlier, on June 26, there was another derailment on the bridge that involved 12 train’s cars.
The NTSB is investigating Wednesday’s Union Pacific freight rail accident in Tempe, Arizona. The NTSB is not traveling to the crash site at this time.— NTSB_Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) July 29, 2020
It was said that all documents and information related to that inspection are not publicly available because the railroad bridge inspections are not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests. And there was no any information whether the city requested the results of the past inspection.
Residents in the area said they have seen crews working on the tracks for the past several weeks.