Five train cars derail in downtown Phoenix


Posted on June 23, 2014 at 5:53 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 24 at 2:09 PM

Map: 7th Street and Buckeye

View larger map

PHOENIX -- A train derailment forced police to close Seventh Street from Buckeye Road to Washington Street for a short time Monday morning.

It happened at about 5 a.m. Aerial video from Chopper 3 showed the derailed cars under the Seventh Street bridge on the east side of Chase Field.

Police reopened Seventh Street about 90 minutes after the incident.

Although police described the derailment as "minor" in a tweet, officers were keeping media crews away from the scene because they are concerned about the contents of the five derailed cars.

A hazardous materials crew was called out.

"There's no immediate danger. There's no leakage right now," Capt. Ruben Saavedra of the Phoenix Fire Department told 3TV's Heidi Goitia.

Two of the cars are hoppers, which means they carry solid substances. In this case, the hoppers are carrying a filler used in fertilizers. Two tankers are carrying oil and water waste. The third tanker is carrying sulfuric acid, which is used for water treatment.

None of the cargo poses an immediate threat.

"The main goal is to keep everything contained and get those rail cars off of the track," Saavedra said.

The initial thought was that Seventh Street would remain closed for several hours, but Saavedra said just after 6:30 a.m. that the haz-mat teams had developed a plan that allowed police to lift the closure.

A railroad crane, also referred to as a crane car or wrecker, is being brought up from Tucson. The crane will lift the derailed cars one by one so that they can be stabilized and then moved off the track.

No injuries were reported in the derailment and no evacuations were necessary.

It's not clear what caused the five rail cars to jump the track. The incident is under investigation

During the 90 or so minutes that Seventh Street was closed, 3TV traffic reporter Gina Maravilla advised drivers to use Seventh Avenue to avoid the scene.

Link: Phoenix Traffic app