WATCH: A train derailment near the community of Clair, Saskatchewan forced the evacuation of people within a five mile radius. As Wendy Winiewski tells us tonight the ensuing fire has environment officials concerned about air and soil quality in the area.
WADENA, Sask. – Emergency crews are on the scene of a Canadian National (CN) train derailment east of Clair, Sask.
CN says it was informed of the derailment around 10:40 a.m. Tuesday that happened about one mile east of the community.
RCMP have evacuated everyone within a five mile radius of the derailment including approximately 50 people from Clair.
Three westbound locomotives heading to Saskatoon from Winnipeg were hauling 100 cars of mixed freight when 26 went off the tracks, six carrying dangerous goods.
Smoke was billowing from the derailment site and witnesses reported flames were at least 30 metres high.
CN spokesman Jim Feeny said the fire came from petroleum distillate which spilled from two of the derailed cars. He stated the other four dangerous goods cars were intact.
Feeny said the focus right now is on “the safety of the public and the environment and that is what we and the local first responders are engaged in now.”
Provincial hazardous materials crews were dispatched to work with first responders already at the scene.
WATCH: Transport Minister Lisa Raitt commented Tuesday on the train derailment in Saskatchewan.
“The first step will be to work with local authorities to ensure that the fire is extinguished,” said Feeny.
“At the same time that is being done, there will of testing of air and soil to make sure there are no effects and if any remediation is needed.
“That remediation will be done. Cars will be cleaned up, the spilled product will be cleaned up and the line will be put back into service.”
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) confirmed the derailed cars were carrying dangerous goods and is sending a team to investigate.
Highway 5 has been closed in both directions between Watson and Wadena.
Clair is approximately 190 kilometres east of Saskatoon.
WATCH: Aerial footage of the CN train that exploded into flames after it derailed near Clair, SK.
Stay connected with Global News as this story develops…
With files from The Canadian Press