A freight train that derailed in western Arizona Wednesday night initially believed to have been carrying hazardous materials was actually just transporting corn syrup, officials said Thursday.
Eight freight rail tankers derailed at Toprock Bridge near Interstate 40 around 7:40 p.m. Wednesday.
The Mojave County Sheriff’s Office originally said that the train was hauling hazardous materials, but BNSF Railway, the train’s operator, confirmed it had been carrying corn syrup.
“There were no injuries as a result of the derailment and preliminarily reports indicate there are no hazardous materials involved,” BNSF said.
The derailment took place near the state’s border with California in a rural non-residential area about 20 miles north of Lake Havasu City.
The sheriff’s office notified the National Transportation Safety Board following the derailment. Officials have not shared what may have caused the train to fall off its tracks.
BNSF Railway operates one of the largest freight railroads in North America.
The derailment scare is the latest in a series of unrelated derailments across the country, including one of the worst derailments in recent history that took place on Feb. 3 in East Palestine, Ohio.
The Norfolk Southern derailment resulted in the release of gallons of toxic chemicals into the air and left much of the water and soil in the small Ohio town contaminated.
The environmental fallout spurred mass evacuations of the tight-knit community, and enraged local officials, including Ohio Attorney General David Yost, who filed a lawsuit this week claiming last month’s derailment was “entirely avoidable.”
“The derailment was entirely avoidable and the direct result of Norfolk Southern’s practice of putting its own profits above the health, safety and welfare of the communities in which Norfolk Southern operates,” the federal suit filed Tuesday alleges.
Norfolk Southern has seen a nearly 80% increase in its accident rate over the past decade with 20 derailments since 2015 resulting in chemical discharges, Yost alleges.
Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw has apologized for the disaster and said the company will set up a medical compensation fund for any long-term health issues that locals may encounter.