Train derailment and fire force closing of Interstate 40 in New Mexico


The derailment of 35 rail cars and following explosion and fire resulted in a shutdown of Interstate 40 for most of the weekend in western New Mexico near the Arizona state line.

The closure involved a nearly 50-mile stretch of the interstate because six of the derailed BNSF Railway cars were carrying propane. The derailment happened at mid-day on Friday and evacuation orders were immediately issued by authorities. No injuries were reported when the rail cars jumped the tracks.

The train was transporting non-odorous propane and gasoline, and a half-dozen rail cars caught fire and burned for hours after the derailment, New Mexico State Police Lt. Phil Vargas said reported the Associated Press.

Representatives of the National Transportation Safety Board were expected on hand Saturday to begin assessment of the scene.