Train Explodes after Major Derailment in New Mexico, Evacuations Ordered

A freight train has derailed near the New Mexico-Arizona state line, triggering a large explosion, according to reports.

Authorities have ordered evacuations after multiple train cars left the tracks in an explosive pile-up.

It is believed some of the cars were carrying propane.

The I-40 highway next to the fire was closed in both directions, affecting trucks that use that route for the transportation of goods.

Vehicles were being directed to alternate routes.

The New Mexico State Police told CBS that the firefighters have been battling the blaze through Saturday.

The train contained 35 cars in total.

Six of the cars were transporting propane, which is highly flammable.

Early footage of the wreckage and fire were from drivers who were passing by.

“A freight train carrying fuel derailed and caught fire Friday near the Arizona-New Mexico state line, forcing the closure of an interstate highway that serves as a key trucking route,” CBS News reported.

“As of Saturday morning, the fire was still burning, a public information officer for the New Mexico State Police told CBS News.

“About 35 of the cars carrying “mixed freight” had derailed, officials said Saturday. Six of those cars contained propane.

“No injuries were reported in the midday train wreck near Lupton, Arizona. BNSF Railway spokesperson Lena Kent said company personnel were on site working to clear the wreckage. Kent said the cause of the derailment is under investigation.”

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The incident has prompted evacuations and forced a 50-mile stretch of Interstate 40 to close.

Evacuation orders were issued and remain in place for residents within a two-mile radius of the derailment and fire along the New Mexico state line with Arizona, according to an update from BNSF Railway.

As of Sunday morning, there is currently “no projected end to this closure,” said New Mexico State Police on Facebook.

A team of National Transportation Safety Board investigators has been deployed to the site.

Investigators are documenting the scene and examining the train and equipment involved in the derailment, the NTSB said.

No injuries have been reported.

BNSF says it is currently working with the residents displaced by the evacuations and will provide necessary lodging and accommodations.

“Along with all local public safety agencies, BNSF is committed to working within Unified Command while ensuring the community is safe and taken care of throughout the duration of the incident,” their release said.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg addressed the massive derailment in a social media post, saying:

“We are coordinating across state, Tribal, and local agencies to ensure safety in the region.

“Please follow state and local guidance for detour information around I-40.”

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs also took to social media to react to the derailment.

“I am deeply concerned about the train derailment along the Arizona-New Mexico border and am monitoring the situation closely,” Hobbs wrote.

“My administration is in contact with Secretary Buttigieg and the New Mexican government.

“As we learn more about the situation on the ground, the State of Arizona stands ready to deploy the resources necessary to keep our communities safe.”

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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