Derailed Canadian National crude train still burning

Sun Mar 8, 2015 8:46pm EDT
 
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By Jeffrey Hodgson

TORONTO (Reuters) - A Canadian National Railway Co train carrying crude oil that derailed near the northern Ontario community of Gogama early on Saturday is still on fire, the company said late on Sunday.

The derailment is CN's second in the region in just three days and the third in less than a month. It was the latest in a series of North American derailments involving trains hauling crude oil, raising concerns about rail safety.

"Fire suppression activities are beginning, as is construction of the track diversion," CN spokesman Mark Hallman said in an email, adding that responders were working in shifts around the clock.

The railway said it confirmed that 38 cars were involved in the derailment. The train had 94 cars containing crude oil. CN did not yet have a definitive count of the number of cars that had caught fire.

The railway did not estimate when the fire will be extinguished and the line reopened.

The Ontario Provincial Police said earlier on Sunday on Twitter that the fire was burning at 80 percent of full size and posted a photo from the morning showing thick clouds of black smoke still coming from the site.

Hallman said air quality monitoring has indicated no air issues at either Gogama or a nearby aboriginal community.

The police force reopened a nearby highway closed after the derailment, but warned there would be delays for residents as CN moves equipment.   Continued...