Officials say nobody was injured after a New Brunswick Southern Railway train derailed in a village in the southwestern part of the province early Thursday morning.
Ten train cars ended up off the tracks. The derailment forced the closure of Route 3 in Harvey Station for several hours, according to the New Brunswick RCMP.
Jerrad Swan, the chief of the Harvey Fire Department, said firefighters responded to the incident near Cedar Lane around 5 a.m. after “somebody heard a loud noise.”
Nobody was injured, Swan said.
Anne McInerney, vice-president of communications for J.D. Irving Ltd., which owns NB Southern Railway, said the cause of the derailment is unknown.
She said the incident was reported to New Brunswick’s Department of Transportation, which will carry out an investigation.
“Of course, we’ll conduct our own investigation,” she added.
McInerney said crews from New Brunswick Southern Railway were on scene Thursday morning.
Nine of the 10 cars that were derailed were empty, she said. The tenth was carrying a powdered catalyst, which leaked “a little bit,” said McInerney, but “is non-hazardous.”
“There is some leaking there, but the appropriate people are all engaged,” she said.
Department of Transportation spokesperson Mark Taylor confirmed the department, which is responsible for all the shortline railroads in the province, is leading the investigation into the derailment.
He said it’s too early to say what could have caused it.
“We’re already underway investigating the incident, and we will be collaborating with our federal partners on the investigation,” said Taylor.
A ‘big bang’
Winston Gamblin, the mayor of Harvey Station, said he was woken up early Thursday morning by a loud noise.
“I heard the train coming through, and then all of a sudden I heard a big bang,” he said. “It was just ‘bang’ and everything stopped.”
Crews began pulling the train cars from the intersection around 10 a.m. Gamblin said the closure of Route 3 was an inconvenience for the people who need to travel through Harvey Station.
“Route 3 is very, very busy. Lots of cars, lots of trucks, lot of people going to work at six, seven o’clock in the morning and now they’ve got to drive all the way around to Magaguadavic and York Mills to get one way or the other,” he said.
The RCMP says the road has since reopened.