Rail bridge in Arizona partially collapses after derailment; rail cars catch on fire

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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Union Pacific has demolished the section of bridge that partially collapsed after a derailment in Tempe, Ariz.
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Firefighters in Tempe, Ariz., were fighting a blaze caused by a train derailment on July 29.

The accident happened early in the morning when a Union Pacific train lost some of its rail cars. The derailment also caused the bridge the train was crossing to partially collapse. The bridge spans Tempe Town Lake. Three tank cars, two containing cyclohexanone, dropped onto a park below. Cyclohexanone is flammable, and about 95 percent is used to make nylon.

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Eight to 10 rail cars caught on fire. Some of the cars were carrying lumber, but the train also was pulling tanker cars. Officials on the scene say none of the cars were leaking after the accident, and nobody was injured.

“I commend the quick actions of first responders this morning to protect lives and property,” said Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in a statement. “Our focus is on protecting public safety and providing any and all resources and assistance necessary to aid Tempe.

“The state of Arizona, including the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Environmental Quality, are actively coordinating with local responders.”

The bridge was just inspected on July 9. More on this story when and if information becomes available.

Read more articles on rail bridges.

Categories: Bridge/Retaining Walls/Tunnels, Class 1, Freight, Rail News, Railroad News, Track Structure
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