AZ - 1 Missing in Freight-Train Crash; Toxic Waste Fears : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Locomotive Disaster 1 Missing in Freight-Train Crash; Toxic Waste Fears

The Associated Press B E L L E M O N T, Ariz., Nov. 1 B A freight train rear-ended another carrying hazardous materials Tuesday night in northern Arizona, causing three locomotives to burst into flames. One person was missing and at least three were injured. The front train was carrying a small amount of hazardous material but none spilled, authorities said. Lena Kent, a spokeswoman for Burlington Northern-Santa Fe, which operates the tracks, said she didnBt know what type of material it was carrying. The crash, about 10 miles west of Flagstaff, forced about 15 families who live in and around Bellemont to evacuate, said Cathy Allen, a Coconino County SheriffBs Department spokeswoman. The city has about 1,000 residents. Interstate Closed Interstate 40, the main east-west route through northern Arizona, was closed as thousands of gallons of diesel burned late into the night. One of the injured was taken to Flagstaff Medical Center in critical condition then transferred to the burn unit at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix. The other two were hospitalized in good condition. The missing person was initially identified by Allen as an engineer. She later said she couldnBt confirm that. The cause of the crash wasnBt immediately known. Three locomotives from the trailing train caught fire, and three container cars on the front train derailed but remained upright, Kent said. None of the derailed cars was carrying the hazardous material, said Officer Mark Hall, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety. The front train was headed from Alliance, Texas, to Los Angeles; the other train was headed from Chicago to Richmond, Calif.

-- Doris (, November 01, 2000

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