CN train carrying crude oil derails, catches fire in Northern Ontario

The Globe and Mail | February 15, 2015 | Column by Eric Atkins

A Canadian National Railway Ltd. train carrying 100 tank cars of crude oil has derailed and caught fire in Northern Ontario.

A CN spokesman said there were no injuries in the derailment that happened around midnight on Saturday about 80 kilometres south of Timmins, Ont., on the CN mainline in a remote area inaccessible by road.

The Montreal-based company is trying to determine if any oil has spilled and how many cars are involved.

"There is a fire at the scene," said Patrick Waldron. "CN has initiated its emergency response plan and has crews responding to the site. That includes firefighting and environmental crews and equipment."

The federal rail safety inspector, the Transportation Safety Board, said Sunday morning it has sent a team of investigators to the derailment.

The increase in the amount of crude moving on the rails has raised safety concerns that were highlighted by the 2013 tragedy in Lac Megantic, Que., where a runaway train derailed, exploded and killed 47 people. Since then, governments in Canada and the United States have begun phasing in tougher crash standards for tank cars and lower speeds for oil trains. But several trains carrying oil and other petroleum products have crashed and caught fire since the tragedy in Lac Megantic, including derailments in New Brunswick and Saskatchewan in 2014.

Oil producers have increasingly used trains to move crude amid a shortage of pipeline space, and to enjoy the flexibility railways offer. The plunge in oil prices has dampened growth in the crude-by-rail business since the fall, but the number of trains carrying oil is expected to rise this year as new terminals are opened.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/cn-train-carrying-crude-derails-catches-fire-in-northern-ontario/article23006415/

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CN train carrying crude oil derails, catches fire in Northern Ontario
PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy
PAUSE works to promote safe, sustainable energy and environmental justice.  We aim to engage the greater public to stop the fossil fuel industry's assault on the people of Albany and our environment.