A freight train transporting iron ore derailed in the Mojave Desert on Monday, with no injuries reported. A tweet by the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District mentioned that 55 cars had derailed, including two locomotives, but there was no threat to the area.
HazMat personnel found a fuel leak in one of the locomotives, but no threat to the public or environment was reported. The derailment occurred near a historic railroad site in the Mojave National Preserve known as Kelso Depot, approximately 160 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
Daryl Bjoraas, the Union Pacific spokesperson, stated that the crew was not in the cab during the derailment and that there was uncontrolled train movement. Bjoraas also confirmed that no hazardous material was spilled, only the iron ore spilled from the rail cars.
Why the crew was not in the cab is not yet known, and we will have to wait for details. The San Bernardino County Fire mentioned that they responded to the derailment in a remote area of Kelso and that no passengers were involved. The ore used in the steel-making process is not a hazardous material, according to Union Pacific spokesman Mike Jaixen, who also confirmed that there were no hazardous materials on the train.