Train derails on Rio's Canadian iron ore line, worker missing

Thu Nov 6, 2014 6:26pm EST
 
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By Allison Lampert

MONTREAL (Reuters) - A train operated by Rio Tinto Plc's Iron Ore Company of Canada derailed in Quebec and its single operator was missing following an apparent landslide, the Canadian iron ore miner said on Thursday.

Early information indicated a landslide had caused the derailment of the train, which was transporting empty cars from Sept-Îles, Quebec. A locomotive was found submerged in water, the miner said in a statement.

The company said all railway traffic was suspended until further notice.

"We will do our own investigation to determine the cause," said Claudine Gagnon, a spokeswoman for Rio Tinto. "Our priority is to find our employee."

Some diesel spilled from the locomotive that plunged into the river, said Frédéric Fournier, a representative of Quebec's environment ministry. He could not say how much had leaked, but noted that the locomotive carried about 17,000 liters of diesel.

"We are now working to minimize the impact of the derailment on the river," he said.

Iron Ore Company of Canada, majority-owned by Rio Tinto, owns and operates the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway, which links its mine to port facilities.

The railway also carries iron ore from Cliffs Natural Resources' Bloom Lake mine. A Cliffs spokeswoman said it was too early to speculate about the impact of the derailment.   Continued...