ABOVE: Another train loaded with crude and propane has derailed and exploded into flames, this time near Plaster Rock, N.B. Ross Lord reports.
PLASTER ROCK, N.B. – The president of CN Rail says a fire burning at the site of a freight train derailment in northwestern New Brunswick is under control.
Speaking today at a news conference in Plaster Rock, Claude Mongeau described the fire as a controlled burn.
He says 17 cars derailed just before 8 p.m. Tuesday near Wapske, a town about five kilometres outside Plaster Rock. Five of them were carrying crude oil that was destined for an Irving Oil refinery in Saint John.
Four other cars were carrying liquefied petroleum gas.
The federal Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.
WATCH: Aerial view of derailed train which is in a controlled burn. Emily Baron Cadloff reports
The board says it’s looking at the brake system and a broken axle on the train.
The regularly scheduled freight train was coming from Central Canada when it ran into trouble.
New Brunswick’s Emergency Measures Organization says there have been no injuries and the number of people affected by an evacuation has climbed from about 60 to 150 people.
The Health Department says as a precaution, people in the area with private wells should not consume their water.
Jim Feeny, a spokesman for CN, said the train was more than 100 cars long.
— Emily Baron Cadloff (@EmilyBat) January 8, 2014
The fire was contained just before 5 a.m., Feeny said.
Area residents described a fiery scene a short time after the derailment occurred.
Video: Flames visible from train derailment in Plaster Rock, NB
“On our balcony, we can just see flames,” said Carol Jarvis. “Every now and then, there’s a huge fireball, as if there was an explosion.”
Rail safety has become a major issue across the country since the deadly derailment in Lac-Megantic, Que. last summer and as a growing amount of fuel oils and crude petroleum is carried by train across the country.
Plaster Rock is approximately 216 kilometres northwest of Fredericton.
*with files from Julia Wong and The Canadian Press
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