CARON, Sask. – Canadian Pacific crews were still clearing the tracks Thursday, after 24 rail cars derailed west of Moose Jaw, near Caron, on Wednesday.
Sixteen of the cars were carrying gasoline, five of them had lumber, and three had asphalt.
The derailment happened in an area surrounded by ranch land and farmland, which made the site difficult to access.
“The incident happened along a curve on tracks, but it’s an awkward area because it goes through a marshy-boggy area,” said one Caronport resident to Global News. “Nearest house would be about a mile away. Population is pretty low around here.”
The rail company called Moose Jaw Fire around 1:30 p.m.Wednesday.
Fire crews were on scene for a couple of hours to ensure none of the rail cars were leaking gasoline.
“We have a number of trained hazmat technicians on our department, so part of our job is to go back and evaluate the scene. First we make sure the scene is secure and then slowly try and determine whether we have any hazardous materials leaking from the cars,” said Deputy Fire Chief Brian Wilson. “Moose Jaw Fire has gone to a couple derailments in the past. That’s probably one of the more significant ones we’ve had in the recent past.”
Investigators from the Transportation Safety Board arrived Wednesday night to do their own independent report.
A spokesperson for CP said she’s not sure how long its investigation will take before the cause of the derailment is made public.
“CP’s emergency protocols and safety precautions and measures are taken as our crews respond to the situation,” said Salem Woodrow with the rail company.
The rail line reopened at 5 p.m local time. Before that trains were being diverted and CP says there were no disruptions in service.
In May, CP also responded to a derailment near Estevan. Four tanker cars carrying crude oil went off the tracks, but no leaks were reported.