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Dozens of cars derail from train in southern Arizona; crews work to open Union Pacific line

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TUCSON, Arizona — Crews are cleaning up after 39 railroad cars carrying empty freight containers derailed from a Union Pacific freight train in southern Arizona amid rain.

The derailment occurred Monday night near Picacho (pih-KAH'-cho) Peak, about 40 miles northwest of Tucson. Television news footage showed cars off the tracks.

PHOTO: Crews gather to remove 39 railroad carrying empty freight containers derailed from a Union Pacific freight train near Picacho, Ariz.  The derailment occurred Monday night  about 40 miles northwest of Tucson.  The cause of the derailment isn't immediately known, but Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis says the train crew reported shortly before the derailment that it was slowing the train because of rain. (AP Photo/The Casa Grande Dispatch, Steven King)
Crews gather to remove 39 railroad carrying empty freight containers derailed from a Union Pacific freight train near Picacho, Ariz. The derailment occurred Monday night about 40 miles northwest of Tucson. The cause of the derailment isn't immediately known, but Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis says the train crew reported shortly before the derailment that it was slowing the train because of rain. (AP Photo/The Casa Grande Dispatch, Steven King)

The cause of the derailment isn't immediately known, but Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis says the train crew reported shortly before the derailment that it was slowing the train because of rain.

The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning in the area late Monday evening.

Davis earlier said the 107-car train pulled by three engines was going from Houston to Los Angeles and that empty freight containers were the only cargo.

Davis says the derailment blocked both sets of tracks.

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