Watch CBS News

Fire still burning after freight train derails on Arizona-New Mexico state line

Biden blames Norfolk Southern for derailment
Biden calls out Norfolk Southern for East Palestine toxic train derailment 02:41

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.

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. 

Initial passersby posted videos and photos on social media of crumpled train cars and billowing black smoke.

Train Derailment New Mexico
Afreight train carrying fuel derailed and caught fire. David Yellowhorse / AP

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.

Interstate 40 was closed by authorities in both directions in the area in the early afternoon, directing trucks and motorists off the freeway to alternate routes, New Mexico State Police and the Arizona Department of Public Safety announced.

The derailed train. McKinley County Fire Rescue

Nearby residences and a truck stop were evacuated as a precaution as winds carried away thick smoke and local firefighting crews responded. The derailment also led Amtrak to cancel some passenger travel, including on the route between Los Angeles and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Air monitoring and fire suppression assessments are ongoing, officials said Saturday. 

Train Derailment New Mexico
This frame grab taken from video provided by Bryan Wilson. Bryan Wilson / AP

Traffic on I-40 backed up for more than 10 miles, though detours were opened on two-lane roads and highways, said Kristine Bustos-Mihelcic, a spokesperson for the New Mexico Department of Transportation. The agency warned Friday evening of an extended highway closure that would increase traffic on other interstate highways, including I-25 and I-10.

The National Transportation Security Board said it was sending a team to investigate the incident. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.