Investigators say broken rail caused Canutillo train derailment

El Paso Fire Dept.
Monday, April 7, 2014 - 11:53pm

Investigators with the El Paso Fire Department say a broken rail is to blame for Monday's train derailment in Canutillo.

Emergency crews were dispatched to the train tracks near Doniphan and Talbot around 1 p.m.

Deputy Fire Chief Robert Arvizu told NewsChannel 9 the train -- operated by Fort Worth company BNSF -- was attempting to switch tracks when one of the rails broke, causing two engines and a freight car to derail.

The train, carrying sugar and scrap metal, managed to stay upright, Arvizu said.

None of the three people onboard were injured, he added.

Shortly after the derailment, a large brush fire broke out just feet away from the train, forcing nearby businesses to evacuate and shutting down Doniphan four about five hours.

Arvizu said no businesses were damaged and no injuries were reported.

More than 100 firefighters from the El Paso and West Valley fire departments battled heavy winds before putting the flames out around 5:30 p.m.

Investigators told NewsChannel 9 the exact cause of the fire and whether or not it was related to the train derailment remains under investigation.

Power was also knocked out to nearby residents, Arvizu said. El Paso Electric crews were spotted making repairs to bent power poles next to the tracks.

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