A bridge over Tempe Town Lake in Arizona partially collapsed after a freight train derailed and caught fire on Wednesday. The incident happened around 6:15 a.m. local time Tempe, a city located east of Phoenix.
According to reports, a large portion of the Salt River Union Pacific Railroad Bridge that stretches over Tempe town Lake in Tempe, Arizona, collapsed after a Union Pacific mixed freight train derailed and its eight to ten rail cars caught fire. This caused the south side of the bridge to collapse where the debris of the cargo train fell into an empty park.
Tempe police and fire crews have rushed to the scene where thick smoke has filled the air. City authorities have directed the nearby Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to divert planes coming to the airport.
The Tempe Police Department said in a tweet that several agencies including Phoenix Fire Department have reached the area, and requested people to avoid the area.
"Several roads are restricted near Tempe Town Lake and west of downtown Tempe," the police department said in the tweet.
Fox News reported Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir urging people to "please avoid the area" as the scene is "very dangerous."
Tempe Fire Medical Rescue says one person was treated for smoke inhalation.
Authorities say those stranded around the incident site in the lake are being ferried by buses.
The video of the incident shows fire and smoke burgeoning along the length of the bridge. Another clip from the scene shows a portion of the bridge that collapsed with three tank cars of the cargo train dangling.
A statement from Union Pacific said that two of the tank cars were carrying cyclohexanone and the third one was carrying a rubber material. None are reported leaking, and no tank cars were involved in the fire.
The bridge is more than a century old and was built in 1912. It had received its annual inspection on July 9, 2020. It has mainly been used by cargo trains.
All boating activities and classes at the Tempe Town Lake have been cancelled because of the train derailment, city officials tweeted.
Cause of the derailment is under investigation.