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Arizona bridge burns, partially collapses after train derailment near Tempe Town Lake

Written by on July 29, 2020

A bridge over a lake in Arizona partially collapsed on Wednesday after a freight train derailed and caught fire.

The incident happened just before 6:30 a.m. local time in Tempe, located east of Phoenix. The Tempe Police Department said on Twitter that officers and the Tempe Fire Department were on the scene of a train derailment and “large fire” over Tempe Town Lake.

“Several roads are restricted near Tempe Town Lake and west of downtown Tempe,” the department said. “Please avoid the area.”

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Tempe Fire Medical Rescue told Fox News that multiple train cars were on fire, some carrying lumber. Several agencies are assisting what was described as a second-alarm fire.

A train bridge partially collapsed after a derailment and fire in Tempe, Ariz. on July 29, 2020.

A train bridge partially collapsed after a derailment and fire in Tempe, Ariz. on July 29, 2020. (Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir/Twitter)

Fire and smoke could be seen along the length of the train bridge, including a portion that collapsed in a park area.

A train bridge partially collapsed after a derailment and fire in Tempe, Ariz. on July 29, 2020.

A train bridge partially collapsed after a derailment and fire in Tempe, Ariz. on July 29, 2020. (FOX10)

Aerial images from FOX10 showed the fire continuing to burn as first responders arrived at the scene.

A train bridge partially collapsed after a derailment and fire in Tempe, Ariz. on July 29, 2020.

A train bridge partially collapsed after a derailment and fire in Tempe, Ariz. on July 29, 2020. (FOX10)

It’s not clear what the train was carrying, but lumber could be seen in the water below.

A train bridge partially collapsed after a derailment and fire in Tempe, Ariz. on July 29, 2020.

A train bridge partially collapsed after a derailment and fire in Tempe, Ariz. on July 29, 2020. (FOX10)

Camille Kimball, who was riding her bike under the bridge before it collapsed, told CBS 5 the noise of the train got extremely loud and as she came off the bridge.

“I turned around to look and got the fright of my life,” she told the television station. “Now there’s fire pouring into the lake from the middle of the bridge. … It’ looks like a scene from hell, truly. A scene from hell. … The flames are intense and the sky is filled with black smoke.”

A train bridge partially collapsed after a derailment and fire in Tempe, Ariz. on July 29, 2020.

A train bridge partially collapsed after a derailment and fire in Tempe, Ariz. on July 29, 2020. (FOX10)

Multiple videos from the area showed the bridge partially collapsed.

Tempe Fire Medical Rescue told Fox News that no injures were reported due to the derailment and subsequent fire.

Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir urged people to avoid the area, tweeting that the scene was “very dangerous.”

A train bridge partially collapsed after a derailment and fire in Tempe, Ariz. on July 29, 2020.

A train bridge partially collapsed after a derailment and fire in Tempe, Ariz. on July 29, 2020. (Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir/Twitter)

“Stay out of Tempe Town Lake and away from the area,” she said.

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Valley Metro, who operates the light rail system in the Phoenix area, said due to the incident involving the freight train, Valley Metro trains were prevented from crossing the Tempe Town Lake Bridge.

Buses were being arranged to transport passengers through the area.

Tempe Town Lake was closed until further notice due to the derailment, according to police.

Fox News’ Stephanie Bennett contributed to this report.

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