CN crews, including dangerous goods and environmental teams, will be at the scene of a train derailment north of Edmonton throughout the day Monday as they work to clean up the site.
Nearly 50 homes in the Sturgeon Valley were evacuated Sunday afternoon after a train carrying crude oil derailed in Sturgeon County. CN originally said two of the cars leaked between 30 to 50 litres of oil. However, on Monday, the company said between 50 and 100 litres of oil had spilled.
“Right now, what they are focused on is preparing the cars to move them away from the derailment site,” CN spokesperson Kate Fenske said. “Then they will do some track work and then after that, they’ll go in and remove any spill.
“Less than 100 litres of oil spilled and that cleanup will happen after the cars are moved out of the way and everything is safe.”
Sturgeon County officials said there is no apparent danger.
“There were no injuries in the incident so the focus is just maintaining public safety right now,” Fenske said.
Work will continue Monday to remove the derailed cars and repair the damaged train track, a spokesperson with Sturgeon County said Monday. There is no estimate for when the rail line will re-open. The RCMP said 12 cars came off the tracks.
“Alberta Environment and Parks staff completed an on-site assessment shortly after a derailment in Sturgeon County on Sunday afternoon,” a government spokesperson said in a statement Monday. “Less than 100 litres of crude oil was found in the right of way of the rail line. No water bodies or wetlands were affected.
“Responsibility for cleanup rests with Canadian National Railway, which has submitted a remediation plan to the province. After the removal of contamination from the site, they will submit site samples to demonstrate that the site has returned to near natural conditions,” Murray Langdon explained.
Residents were allowed to return home on Sunday night. Those who live in the area said the sound of the train coming off the track was like nothing they’d heard before.
“I was actually sleeping and then I just heard large crashing and screeching kind of noises,” Patrick Potter said.
“I was just having lunch and then we heard this crazy noise and then I looked out the window and all the cars were stacked together,” Potter’s roommate, Teri Gosselin, said.
Potter looked out the window and saw the derailment happen. He said he ran outside and jumped over the fence to make sure the conductor was OK, which he was.
On Monday, Potter was still trying to come to terms with everything that happened on Sunday.
“It is a bit concerning. It’s still very fresh. It’s a bit shocking, still not sure how I feel about everything,” he said. “It’s definitely not something you expect to wake up to.
“You don’t figure it’s going to happen literally right in your backyard.”
Watch below: Ongoing Global News coverage of the train derailment in Sturgeon County
CN said Sunday it activated its emergency response plan.
“We are mobilizing all of our resources to respond to this incident and are working alongside local emergency responders as we conduct a full assessment of the situation,” the company said.
No injuries were reported.