Two BNSF trains derailed in separate incidents in Arizona and Washington state on Thursday, with the latter spilling diesel fuel.
ANACORTES, Wash. — Two BNSF trains derailed in separate incidents in Arizona and Washington state on Thursday, with the latter spilling diesel fuel on tribal land along Puget Sound.
No injuries were reported. It was not clear what caused the derailment.
The derailment in Washington occurred on a berm along Padilla Bay, on the Swinomish tribal reservation near Anacortes. Most of the 5,000 gallons (nearly 19,000 liters) of spilled diesel fuel seeped into the land side of the berm instead of into the water, according to the state Department of Ecology.
State, tribal and contract cleanup crews were responding and working to remove remaining fuel from two locomotives that derailed before righting them. A hazardous materials team from a nearby oil refinery was also on hand to provide additional spill response equipment.
The derailment in western Arizona, near the state’s border with California and Nevada, involved a train carrying corn syrup. A Mohave County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, Anita Mortensen, said she was not aware of any spills or leaks.
The derailments came amid heightened attention to rail safety across the country following a vicious derailment last month in Ohio and a series of derailments since then that have grabbed headlines, including those in Michigan, Alabama and other states. .
The US averages about three train derailments a day, according to federal data, but relatively few create disasters.
Last month, a freight train carrying dangerous chemicals derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, near the Pennsylvania border, starting a fire and prompting the evacuation of hundreds of people.
Officials seeking to prevent a runaway explosion intentionally released and burned toxic vinyl chloride from five train cars, sending flames and black smoke into the sky. That left people questioning the potential health impacts, even as authorities maintained they were doing everything they could to protect people.