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2 workers injured after chemical spill at Tempe train derailment site

A derailed freight train burns on a bridge spanning Tempe Town Lake as part of the collapsed bridge bends in the foreground Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Tempe, Ariz. Officials say a freight train traveling on the bridge that spans a lake in the Phoenix suburb has derailed, setting the bridge ablaze and partially collapsing the structure. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Two workers were injured following a chemical spill at the site of a train derailment in Tempe, authorities said Friday.

At about 1:30 p.m., the contracted workers were splashed with cyclohexanone while disconnecting a hose, Tempe Fire Assistant Chief Andrea Glass said during a press conference.

One of the workers — a man in his 50s — was transported to a local burn center with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

The other worker was treated at the scene and released.

“We’re hopeful that he has a very quick recovery and is able to be released soon,” Glass said.

Glass said authorities were unsure why the spill occurred but said heat could be a factor.

Cyclohexanone is a pale and oily liquid that is toxic and flammable.

Glass said about 10 gallons of the liquid spilled as a result. The leak was stopped by 2:30 p.m.

Two tankers were carrying the toxic liquid aboard a Union Pacific train that crashed on a bridge on the south side of Tempe Town Lake around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Railroad ties were damaged, causing a partial collapse of the bridge. Rail cars fell through the gap and landed in a park, which was empty.

Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir said Thursday there was no evidence of criminal activity and an investigation into the incident will continue.

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