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Guernsey, Sask. evacuated after CP freight train derailment

Guernsey, Sask. evacuated after CP freight train derailment
WATCH: It's déjà vu for residents near Guernsey after a CP train derailed in fiery fashion near the community.

Local residents want answers after a second Canadian Pacific Railway train derailment near Guernsey, Sask., in as many months.

Roughly 80 residents were evacuated to Lanigan after the CP freight train derailed just east of Guernsey around 6:15 a.m. Thursday.

READ MORE: RCMP called to investigate Field, B.C., train derailment that killed 3 CP crew members

The derailment is near the same location as one two months ago and Blaine Weber said he’s frustrated with the lack of any details on either one.

“CP doesn’t seem to be answering any questions from either the public or the authorities,” Weber said.

“Why is this happening and why here? We need to take a closer look at what’s going on and it needs to be dissected and people need to be made aware of the situation.”

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Freight train derails, catches fire near Guernsey, Sask.
Freight train derails, catches fire near Guernsey, Sask.

Josh Kondraczynski, who along with his family was evacuated from Guernsey, called it surreal.

“You’ve got five minutes to pack a bag and get out,” Kondraczynski said.

“From our house, you could see a plume of smoke.”

No reports of injuries following train derailment: Saskatchewan Public Safety
No reports of injuries following train derailment: Saskatchewan Public Safety

READ MORE: 2nd derailment in two months near Guernsey, Sask. raises maintenance questions

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Saskatchewan’s Public Safety Agency said 31 of the 104 cars derailed and a dozen caught fire.

Tom Lukiwski, the member of Parliament for the area, said he was shocked that there was a second derailment on the same stretch of rail in two months.

“To have two major derailments that are incredibly serious is something that is almost incomprehensible,” Lukiwski said. “I am not a big believer in coincidence, and this seems to be that it’s more than just coincidence.”

Blaine Weber reacts to Guernsey train derailment
Blaine Weber reacts to Guernsey train derailment

Lukiwski reached out to Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau to call for an investigation.

Garneau said in a tweet that he was “seized with this morning’s rail incident.”

“We are gathering the facts and I am following this very closely.”

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READ MORE: Speed limits for trains carrying dangerous goods lowered in wake of Saskatchewan derailment

He also announced trains hauling 20 or more cars of dangerous goods will be restricted to speeds of no more than 40 km/h.

Garneau said the measure comes into effect at midnight Friday and will stay in place for 30 days.

Large flames burn after train derailment near Saskatoon
Large flames burn after train derailment near Saskatoon

READ MORE: Last tanker cars to be removed from CP Rail derailment site near Guernsey, Sask.

Weber said maintenance crews were working in the area just before the derailment.

“There was a crew in here working on the tracks right around that time,” Weber said.

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“I think there’s some questions (that) should be asked as to maintenance programs, maybe the quality of the rails or why we’ve had significant accidents in this area. It’s so close together and with a hazardous material.”

Kondraczynski is also looking for answers from CP.

“I came from Nova Scotia in 2006 and from 2006 to a month ago, there was no derailments.”

“For the last five, six months all you see are rail crews working on the tracks. So they spent all this time working on the tracks and now there’s two derailments.”

Josh Kondraczynski evacuated from Guernsey, Sask., following CP train derailment
Josh Kondraczynski evacuated from Guernsey, Sask., following CP train derailment

Highway 16 is closed in both directions, as is the Highway 20 junction. RCMP say drivers should find alternative routes.

A CP train hauling crude derailed on Dec. 9, causing 33 oil tank cars and a hopper car to leave the tracks.

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The Transportation Safety Board said roughly 1.5 million litres of oil was released.

Flames and thick smoke from the scene of a CP train derailment near Guernsey, Sask., on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.
Flames and thick smoke from the scene of a CP train derailment near Guernsey, Sask., on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. Phillip Bollman / Global News

Guernsey is roughly 115 kilometres southeast of Saskatoon.

Train derails near Guernsey, southeast of Saskatoon
Train derails near Guernsey, southeast of Saskatoon