Haz-Mat Teams Responds to Train that Derails in SoCal Desert, Leaking Alcohol

March 5, 2021

LUDLOW, Calif. (AP) — A freight train derailed in the Southern California desert on Wednesday, sending more than 40 rail cars crashing into the sand, authorities said.

Nobody was hurt and there was no fire when the BNSF Railway train went off the tracks around midday near the remote Mojave community of Ludlow, the San Bernardino County Fire Department said on Twitter.

Photos and a video tweeted by the fire department showed train cars piled up, mostly sideways across the tracks, some on their sides.

In a press release, the Fire Department said 25 to 35 train cars derailed. One round car leaked denatured alcohol, which is similar to ethanol.

“Overall it is estimated that several thousand gallons had leaked from the unit,” the press release said.

Authorities closed a two-mile stretch of National Trails Highway while they investigated the crash scene. There was no impact to nearby Interstate 40.

Hazardous materials experts were able to enter the round car that was leaking and “mitigate the hazard,” the fire department said.

The train was carrying mixed freight, Kent said.

Investigators will try to determine the cause of the crash some 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles.

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