Freight train carrying hazardous material derails in Arizona
Authorities are investigating if weather played a role in the incident since there was a tornado warning in the area.
According to a local official, a freight train transferring hazardous materials derailed in Arizona on Wednesday near Mohave County, bordering California and Nevada but so far, there are no immediate reports concerning spills after the derailment.
In a statement by Anita Mortensen, a spokesperson for the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, the incident occurred close to the town of Topock, but she was not aware either of any chemical spills. She confirmed that it took place after 8:00 pm, but there was no information on the amount of cars on the train or the type of materials on it.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the railroad company BNSF were notified, since they were responsible for responding to the area that was already dealing with a tornado warning, according to the National Weather Service. However, it could not be determined if the weather had a hand in the derailment.
Derailments becoming a daily occurrence
Train derailments have been occurring frequently in the US recently, beginning with last month's Norfolk Southern train carrying toxic chemicals that derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, which ignited a massive fire in the town. People were evacuated, schools and roads were closed and a nationwide discussion about railroad safety started. Animals died when the respiratory irritant toxin was released into the area.
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Earlier this month, another train belonging to Norfolk Southern derailed in Ohio on March 4, and although no chemicals were on board, suspicions about the company and railroad safety increased.
The (NTSB) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced the launch of investigations into the company registered under the train this month, after three employees died as a result.
In response, Norfolk Southern CEO Alan H. Shaw declared his cooperation with the NTSB in its probe and vowed to hold “safety stand-down briefings” that would “reach” every employee. In its statement, the train company stated its intentions to restructure and invest more in its safety policies.