UPDATE 2-Train carrying oil derails, catches fire in New Brunswick, Canada

Wed Jan 8, 2014 12:18am EST
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By Solarina Ho

Jan 7 (Reuters) - A Canadian National Railway train carrying propane and crude oil derailed and caught fire on Tuesday in northwest New Brunswick, Canada, the latest in a string of train accidents that have put the surging crude-by-rail business under heavy scrutiny.

No one was injured but about 45 nearby homes were evacuated when the train derailed near the village of Plaster Rock at about 7 p.m. local time (2300 GMT), local officials and the railroad said.

The train originated in Toronto and was headed to Moncton, New Brunswick, which is about 300 km (186 miles) east of the site of the accident, said Jim Feeny, director of public and government affairs at CN.

This latest derailment comes a little more than a week after a train carrying crude oil in the booming oil state of North Dakota derailed and exploded.

A series of disastrous derailments has reignited the push for tougher regulation. A surge in U.S. oil production has drastically increased the number of oil trains moving across the continent as pipelines fail to keep up with growing supply.

In Tuesday's accident, 15 cars and one unmanned locomotive appeared to have derailed, mostly toward the the rear of the train, including four loads of propane and four loads of crude oil, said Feeny.

"At this point, we cannot confirm that they're involved in the fire. They are in the fire area. Because of the fire, emergency responders can't approach too closely," he said.   Continued...