FBI finds no evidence of criminal activity in Tempe train derailment

Sep 10, 2020, 2:00 PM

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The FBI found no evidence of criminal activity in a July 29 freight train derailment and fire that extensively damaged a century-old railroad bridge in metro Phoenix, according to a federal report released Thursday.

A National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report did not identify a probable cause for the derailment of 12 cars that were part of a Union Pacific train of three locomotives and 97 cars crossing Tempe Town Lake along the Salt River in Tempe.

“All aspects … of the accident remain under investigation,” the report stated.

Some of the derailed cars carrying lumber and other cargo caught fire, causing the south end of the bridge to partially collapse.

No train crew members were injured. One emergency responder was taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation.

Union Pacific estimated cost of the damage at $8 million to $12 million, the NTSB report said.

The railroad in mid-August restored rail service over the bridge, which passes over the Rio Salado Parkway next to the lake, a popular recreation area.

The bridge is part of a spur rail line that serves metro Phoenix. The spur connects with Union Pacific’s Texas-to-California main line that crosses southern Arizona.

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FBI finds no evidence of criminal activity in Tempe train derailment