By Associated Press - Thursday, March 16, 2023

TOPOCK, Ariz. (AP) — A freight train carrying corn syrup, not hazardous materials, derailed in western Arizona, near the state’s border with California and Nevada, BNSF Railway said.

The train derailed Wednesday evening near the town of Topock, Anita Mortensen, a spokeswoman for the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office said, adding that she was not aware of any spills or leaks.

BNSF Railway can confirm that a train carrying corn syrup derailed,” spokesperson Lena Kent said in a statement to media outlets. “There were no injuries as a result of the derailment and preliminarily reports indicate there are no hazardous materials involved.”

Kent did not immediately return messages from The Associated Press on Thursday morning.

The derailment comes amid heightened attention to rail safety nationwide following a fiery derailment last month in Ohio.

In Arizona, Mortensen had earlier said the train was carrying hazardous materials. The derailment occurred near milepost 9 of Interstate 40, Mortensen said, which is a rural, non-residential area about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Lake Havasu City.

The sheriff’s office had notified the National Transportation Safety Board and BNSF, the two entities that she said would be responding to the accident.

The NTSB also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Last month, a freight train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, near the Pennsylvania border, igniting a fire and causing hundreds of people to be evacuated.

Officials seeking to avoid an uncontrolled blast intentionally released and burned toxic vinyl chloride from five rail cars, sending flames and black smoke high into the sky. That left people questioning the potential health impacts even as authorities maintained they were doing their best to protect people.


The story has been updated to correct that the derailment involves a train carrying corn syrup, not hazardous material, according to the railway.

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