Freight train derailed in Arizona was carrying corn syrup, not toxic chemicals

Cargo erroneously identified as toxic

A freight train that derailed on February 3, in the US town of East Palestine, Ohio. AP
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

A freight train that derailed in Arizona was carrying corn syrup and not toxic chemicals, a railway company has said.

The derailment happened in Mohave County, near the border with California and Nevada, at 7.40pm on Wednesday.

Officials from the sheriff's department initially said "hazardous materials" were believed to be aboard the train.

BSNF Railway said the train was carrying corn syrup.

"Preliminarily reports indicate there are no hazardous materials involved," it said.

The derailment halted traffic from Los Angeles International Airport, Amtrak said.

The incident comes a month after a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, forcing thousands of people to seek safety.

Toxic fumes and carcinogenic chemicals have plagued East Palestine since last month's crash.

Residents evacuated

No one was hurt but local residents, half of whom were forced to evacuate, said they were left with lingering health concerns.

Former president Donald Trump and governors from neighbouring states all visited the town in the aftermath, where a major environmental disaster was feared.

Mr Trump used the incident to lash out at President Joe Biden and the Democrats, claiming the White House cared more about Palestinians in the occupied West Bank than the East Ohio town.

Millions of litres of hazardous materials and pollutants were released into the local environment, prompting lawsuits from the state against Norfolk Southern railways.

Ohio filed a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern on Tuesday, hoping to force the company to pay for the clean-up.

“The fallout from this highly preventable accident is going to reverberate throughout Ohio for many years to come,” said Ohio attorney general Dave Yost.

While train derailments happen fairly regularly, those involving hazardous materials are less common.

About 1,000 trains derailed in the US last year.

Updated: March 16, 2023, 3:06 PM