A freight train derailed and caught fire as it was crossing a heavy rail bridge in Tempe, Ariz., on Wednesday morning, causing the bridge to partially collapse and sending plumes of black smoke billowing over the Tempe Town Lake, the authorities said.
The derailment happened just after 6 a.m., Detective Natalie Barela of the Tempe Police Department said. No one was injured, she said.
It was not immediately clear what caused the fire or the derailment. The incident is under investigation, said Assistant Chief Andrea Glass of the Tempe Fire Department.
Eight to 10 rail cars caught fire, said Tim McMahan, a spokesman for Union Pacific, the owner of the train. Brandon Siebert, a fire investigator and a spokesman for the Tempe Fire Department, told ABC 15 that the train included “lumber cars” and “tanker cars.”
About 100 firefighters from Tempe, Phoenix and Mesa, Ariz., responded, and several ladder units sprayed water on the bridge, Chief Glass said.
“It is a very active scene. We are still trying to contain the fire at this time,” she said. “We have a large amount of smoke that is over the center part of the lake.”
Video from local TV stations showed the fire burning along much of the bridge earlier in the morning.
A section of the bridge collapsed onto a roadway, Chief Glass said. Two of the cars that fell to the ground contained cyclohexanone, a highly flammable chemical solvent, and one contained a rubber material, Mr. McMahan said, adding that none of the cars were reported to be leaking.
Chief Glass said that no train cars fell into the lake, which is about two miles long and is a popular recreation area for kayaking, paddle boarding and rowing. The nearby Tempe Center for the Arts was evacuated, Ms. Barela said.
Streets around the Tempe Town Lake and west of downtown were restricted, and the police asked that people avoid the area. The Valley Metro transit service was routing buses around the scene of the derailment.