Trains derail in Arizona, Washington state

Two train derailments have been reported in Arizona and Washington state amid growing scrutiny of rail safety over the past month.

A train carrying corn syrup derailed in western Arizona near the California and Nevada borders on Wednesday evening, The Associated Press reported. The train was initially feared to be carrying hazardous materials, but the BNSF Railway confirmed to multiple outlets that the train was carrying corn syrup.

The spokesperson for the railroad said preliminary reports show there were no hazardous materials involved and no injuries reported in the derailment that occurred near Topock, Ariz., according to the AP.

A second BNSF train derailed in Washington state early Thursday morning, spilling about 5,000 gallons of diesel in the area by 6 a.m., the Washington State Department of Ecology said in a statement.

The derailment occurred on the Swinomish Reservation in Anacortes, and the state department said it was working on a response with the Marine Spill Response Corporation, a U.S. nonprofit group that helps clean up oil.

The department said that there were no injuries and the derailment occurred near a waterway but that most of the diesel spilled onto land.

The Seattle Times reported that the department said there could be up to 10,000 gallons of oil on the train. The Times reported that the first locomotive car that derailed did not appear to be spilling fuel, except possibly out of the vents for the fuel tanks. The report said that the second locomotive car was actively spilling diesel fuel and the third car was upright and appeared to be carrying dry goods.

The two incidents are the latest in a series of derailments that have occurred over the last month. Train derailments have been drawing more attention since a train carrying hazardous materials crashed in East Palestine, Ohio, last month, sparking environmental and public health concerns.

Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw testified in front of a Senate panel last week to respond to the train derailments. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has also opened an investigation into the company regarding several incidents that occurred since 2021.

An NTSB spokesperson told The Hill the agency is looking into the derailments in Arizona and Washington state but has not launched in investigation into either one. The Hill has reached out to BNSF Railway for comment.

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