CN Rail train derails in Saskatchewan; two cars of distillate burn

Tue Oct 7, 2014 4:45pm EDT
 
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By Scott Haggett

CALGARY Alberta (Reuters) - A freight train derailed in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan on Tuesday, setting two cars carrying petroleum distillate on fire, Canadian National Railway Co (CNR.TO: Quote) said.

The railway said the train, traveling from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, had three locomotives and was pulling 100 cars. It said 26 cars derailed near the community of Clair.

"Of the 26 derailed cars, two cars carrying petroleum distillate have spilled and that's the product that caught fire. There were four other dangerous goods cars; two of hydrochloric acid, two of caustic soda. They are reported to be intact," said CN spokesman Jim Feeny.

He said no injuries were immediately reported. The spill was not on the main line.

Derailments have become a particularly sensitive issue in Canada since the crude oil train crash in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in July 2013 that killed 47 people.

Feeny said he could not immediately confirm what type of tanker car was carrying the distillate. He declined to identify the owner of the product, saying it was confidential customer information.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said it was deploying a team of investigators to the site, which is about 124 miles (200 km) east of the city of Saskatoon.

Local media reported some nearby residents in the rural area and about 50 people from Clair had been evacuated.

(With additional reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Jeffrey Hodgson in Toronto; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Tom Brown)

 
A Canadian National Railway Co train that derailed near Clair, Saskatchewan burns west of Wadena, October 7, 2014.  REUTERS/Alison J. Squires/Wadena News