October 8, 2014 / 5:03 PM / 3 years ago

CN Rail service to resume after fiery Canada derailment

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian National Railway will resume service on a line in rural Saskatchewan on Wednesday after workers removed debris from a fiery train derailment that occurred a day earlier and led to the evacuation of a nearby village.

The wreckage of a Canadian National Railway Co train that derailed near Clair, Saskatchewan is pictured west of Wadena, October 7, 2014. REUTERS/Alison J. Squires/Wadena News

Twenty-six cars derailed near the community of Clair, Saskatchewan, on Tuesday. Six of the derailed cars were carrying dangerous goods, and two of the cars, loaded with petroleum distillate, caught fire.

The four other derailed cars that were carrying dangerous goods were intact. Two were hauling hydrochloric acid and two were hauling caustic soda.

The train, traveling from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in Western Canada had three locomotives and was pulling 100 cars.

“We expect to have the line back in service later today,” CN spokesman Jim Feeny said, adding that air, soil and water quality tests were being conducted in the area. “They’re rebuilding the track. That will take a few hours.”

There were no injuries associated with the derailment and nearby residents were allowed to return home on Wednesday.

Feeny said the fire had burned itself out.

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

Investigators from Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) were on the scene Wednesday to inspect the accident site and interview the crew, though the agency said it was too soon to draw any conclusions.

“The train was traveling at 40 miles per hour (65 km/h) when a train-initiated brake application occurred,” the TSB said in a statement, adding that investigators will be reviewing the condition of the rail cars and track infrastructure.

Feeny declined to comment on what type of tank car was carrying the distillate, saying that information was part of the TSB’s investigation.

There has been much discussion about the safety of older tank-car models since the Lac-Megantic disaster.

Feeny would not identify the owner of the distillate, saying it was confidential customer information.

Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Peter Galloway and Richard Chang

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