Major train derailment and fire near Wadena, Sask.

CBC News | October 7, 2014 | Staff Report

Officials worried about toxic smoke from burning railcars

A major train derailment has occurred near Wadena, Sask., prompting authorities to keep people well back from burning railcars and huge plumes of smoke that may be toxic.​

The CN Rail derailment happened at 10:40 a.m. CST Tuesday about 20 kilometres west of the town of 1,300, which is about 230 kilometres east of Saskatoon.

Officials are worried about toxic smoke from the burning cars and are keeping people eight kilometres from the scene.

"It's huge," Alison Squires, editor of the Wadena News, told CBC News. "It's like taller than a [grain] elevator."

About 50 people were evacuated from Clair, about one kilometre from the crash. People were also evacuated from other farm homes in the area, the RCMP said.

Students at the school in Wadena are being kept indoors.

"Huge plumes of smoke and fire," Squires said. "RCMP and obviously local fire departments are there. They're detouring traffic."

A spokesman for CN said the train was hauling 100 cars, 26 of which derailed.

Six of them contained hazardous materials, including four that had either hydrochloric acid or caustic soda.

The other two had petroleum distillates, CN said.

Heavy smoke and fire were seen coming out of the crashed cars.

According to Squires, traffic detours extend to routes that may be downwind of the derailment.

"They're detouring traffic north of Highway 5, versus south, because they're expecting that the smoke is toxic."

It's not clear which cars are burning, she added. One of the cars not directly in the fire appeared to be carrying anhydrous ammonia, a toxic material used to make fertilizer, she said.

It appears there were also some grain cars and oil cars involved, Squires said.

A CN hazardous materials team was seen en route to the site, around 2 p.m.

There were no reported injuries. CN said two employees were on the train at the time of the derailment and both are safe.

Officials from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada were on their way to the site.

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commented 2014-10-07 19:01:04 -0400 · Flag
Like the article said, could be that toxins being released are more of a problem with this petroleum disaster rather than the explosion itself. Doesn’t sound like the Bakken which doesn’t make it a VERY BAD ACCIDENT. Compare this to a derailment of a train were carrying solar panels and wind turbines. Evacuation and toxic fumes? I think not.
@PAUSEnergy tweeted this page. 2014-10-07 18:37:17 -0400
PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy posted about Major train derailment and fire near Wadena, Sask. on PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy's Facebook page 2014-10-07 18:37:16 -0400
Major train derailment and fire near Wadena, Sask.
PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy
PAUSE is a grassroots group of individuals who have come together to promote safe, sustainable energy and fight for environmental justice. We engage the greater public to stop the fossil fuel industry’s assault on the people of Albany and our environment.