Cargo train derailment near downtown

Ina Ronquillo, Simone Del Rosario

Cargo train derailment near downtown

CREATED Jul. 12, 2013 - UPDATED: Jul. 12, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Eight freight train cars came off the rails and toppled over near downtown Tucson.

The wreck near 16th and Toole Avenue shocked witnesses. 

"I heard a loud bang, so loud it almost sounded like an explosion; but you could tell it was metal," said Kris Rees, who was next to the tracks at Hood Distribution. 

Another eyewitness told Nine On Your Side he saw the train stop abruptly. Then, the cars tumbled down in a domino effect. 

A Union Pacific Railroad spokeswoman said what caused the derailment is all part of an ongoing investigation. 

"At this point, it's too early to guess what the cause might have been," Zoe Richmond said. "But we definitely take witness statements." 

Tucson Fire, Tucson Police and Tucson Electric Power were also on scene. 

One concern was that there might be hazardous materials on board that spilled. Luckily, the cars were empty. 

Another major concern was having heavy machinery next to the power lines. The entire area was taped off to keep the public at a safe distance. 

Business owners told Nine On Your Side it didn't take long before things were almost back to normal. 

"If you think about the significance of it, they really had it cleaned up in a relatively short time," Rees said. 

The remaining cars were rightside up by Friday evening. 

Contributing reporter: Justin Schecker

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