CALGARY – Residents who live near the site of Wednesday night’s train derailment are preparing to hold a protest on Friday, saying they’re concerned for their safety.
CP Rail says the train was moving at a slow speed when eight cars carrying a diluting agent used in oil pipelines jumped the tracks.
Six of the cars involved overturned, and although there was no leakage from fallen cars, 12 nearby businesses and 142 homes were evacuated as a precaution.
Inglewood residents complain it’s the second time in three months they’ve been forced from their homes because of to train derailments.
“What we’d really like to see is a roll out of what exactly the so-called emergency plan does look like,” says resident LJ Robertson. “There really wasn’t any instruction. We don’t know what to do. It was mass confusion.”
Robertson adds residents have a right to know what’s being hauled through her community, and while nobody was injured in Wednesday’s derailment, she fears next time they may not be so lucky.
Bruce Burrell, director of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, says people have a right to be concerned.
“If cars went off the rails in close proximity to my house I would be upset as well, and I would want answers,” he says, adding railway safety has become a major issue in Canada.
“I think there is going to be some discussions with the mayor, with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and others about the fact that transporting products in safer cars is a good idea…but it creates emergency response problems in the event something happens.”
Mayor Naheed Nenshi is also voicing concern over the derailment, saying it took too long for CP to tell city officials what was in the cars.
Meanwhile, work to remove the overturned cars continues in Alyth Yard is still underway, and fire officials expect to have all the cars emptied by Friday night.
Officials say the removal of the product from the high pressure rail cars has proven extremely challenging due to the safety features of the rail car.
15th Street remains closed between Blackfoot Trail and 9th Avenue S.E.