Tanker train derails, catches fire
GAINFORD, Alberta — Emergency crews on Saturday battled a huge fire sparked when a Canadian National tanker train carrying oil and gas derailed overnight west of Edmonton, Alberta. No injuries were reported.
Canadian National spokesman Louis-Antoine Paquin said 13 cars — four carrying petroleum crude oil and nine loaded with liquefied petroleum gas — came off the tracks about 1 a.m. local time in the hamlet of Gainford, about 50 miles from Edmonton. The entire community of about 100 people was evacuated.
Paquin said three cars containing gas were leaking and on fire. Local officials feared there could be an explosion and declared a state of emergency.
“It's still a risky situation, so we need to contain as much as possible and keep people far away,” said Carson Mills, spokesman for Parkland County, which includes Gainford.
A local resident described hearing a series of crashes moments before a huge fireball shot into the sky.
“The fireball was so big, it shot across both lanes of the Yellowhead (Highway) and now both lanes of the Yellowhead are closed and there's fire on both sides,” said the eyewitness, identified only as Duane.
The train was traveling from Edmonton to Vancouver, British Columbia, Paquin said.
The Transportation Safety Board said it is sending investigators to the scene.
Questions about the increasing transport of oil by rail in the United States and Canada were raised in July after an unattended train with 72 tankers of oil rolled into the small Quebec town of Lac-Megantic near the Maine border, derailing and triggering explosions that killed 47 people. The town's center was destroyed. The rail company's chairman blamed the train's operator for failing to set enough hand brakes.
Much of that increase is from oil produced in the Bakken region, a rock formation underlying portions of Montana and North Dakota, and Saskatchewan and Manitoba in Canada.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 2 female bombers kill 30 in Nigeria
- Abduction in Mexico to spur police, judicial system changes
- Afghan forces may resume night raids