Tags: train | derailment | canada | fire

Train Derailment in Canada Catches Fire, Forces Home Evacuations

Image: Train Derailment in Canada Catches Fire, Forces Home Evacuations

Wednesday, 08 Jan 2014 03:06 PM

By Morgan Chilson

The derailment of a train carrying propane and crude oil on Tuesday in New Brunswick, Canada, caused a fire and the evacuation of nearby homes.

Seventeen cars of 122 of the Canadian National Railway were involved in the accident; no one was injured. Forty-five homes were evacuated in Plaster Rock as a result of the fire, CBC News said.

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Although railroad authorities weren’t sure yet of the exact cause of the derailment, Dan Holbrook with the Transportation Safety Board told CBC News that the accident was caused by a mechanical failure. Apparently the brakes may have gone into an emergency mode, which stops the train quickly in an emergency.

The fire from the Tuesday derailment continued to burn Wednesday morning.

"My first words would be to apologize to the citizens of Plaster Rock for the inconvenience," CN Railway President Claude Mongeau said in a news release quoted by CBC. “The fire is our first priority at the moment. Dealing with it, we have the equipment, we have the people and we have all of the procedures in place to deal with it in a safe manner."

Just last week, a train carrying crude oil near Casselton, N.D., exploded after derailing.

The increase in accidents in the booming oil and gas industry has caused some to push for better safety regulations. Five major accidents over one year involving trains transporting crude oil contribute to concerns, Reuters noted. One accident in Quebec in July 2013 killed 47 people.

Midwest Energy News reported that calls for tighter regulations are particularly strong in North Dakota, which is experiencing an oil boom that is overwhelming existing infrastructure. After the Casselton derailment, which didn’t cause any injuries, MEN reported that officials began more carefully inspecting the state’s crude shipments.

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