Families flee their homes after a train jumps the tracks and catches fire.


Families flee their homes after a train jumps the tracks and catches fire.

A derailed train in New Mexico caught fire on Monday, causing evacuations in a community west of Albuquerque and capturing the spectacle on camera with a police helicopter flying overhead.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office released video from its aviation unit, noting that no injuries were recorded but that “most of the cargo appeared to be damaged.”

A locomotive and many cars derailed, according to a spokeswoman for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. A locomotive is shown on its side, smoldering, as firefighters spray it with water. Over a dozen train cars appear to have been collapsed and destroyed.

The train was not transporting any dangerous materials, thus the majority of the cargo was lost. Three of the freight cars looked to be transporting three tiers of automobiles.

Residents of Mesita, a neighbouring village, were ordered to evacuate because to the thick smoke. The next day, families were permitted to return to their homes.

Following the incident, both sides of the railroad track remained blocked, and services were discontinued. The accident’s cause is still being investigated.

According to Operation Lifesaver, a nonprofit national rail safety awareness group, there were 1,899 highway-rail incidents in the United States in 2020. Since 1972, when the average annual number of railway collisions was over 12,000, there has been an 82 percent decline in these incidents.

According to Operation Lifesaver, highway-rail grade crossing crashes, as well as pedestrians trespassing on tracks, account for more than 95 percent of all railroad fatalities.

According to the Federal Train Administration, a division of the United States Department of Transportation, there were 57 railroad incidents in New Mexico last year, with four fatalities and 38 nonfatal injuries. Five of the occurrences resulted in more than $100,000 in reported damages. Two of them resulted in damages of over $500,000, while the other two resulted in damages of over $1 million.

The main reasons of train derailment, according to Joanne Beer, the New Mexico coordinator of Operation Lifesaver, are track faults and foreign items obstructing rails. To ensure safety, Beer believes that railway firms should be responsible for frequent track maintenance.

“Keeping their equipment and personnel safe is in their best interest,” Beer added. “As a result, they perform a lot of track maintenance and track inspections out here.”

Cracks and breaks should be checked by maintenance staff. This is a condensed version of the information.


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