Sunday, October 20, 2013

State Of Emergency Declared As Another Oil/Gas Train Derails In Canada

Thirteen cars came off the tracks around 1 a.m. Saturday -- 9 of which were carrying liquefied petroleum gas and four that were carrying crude oil. The derailment prompted local officials to declare a state of emergency and the evacuation of the nearly hamlet of Gainford about 80km west of Edmonton. As AP reports, an eyewitness noted "the fireball was so big, it shot across both lanes of the Yellowhead (Highway)... there's fire on both sides." According to the latest reports, the train cars remain ablaze as the liquified hydrocarbons continue to leak. Parkland County police chief added "how it exploded and why is yet to be determined," but while only 2 injuries (CN employees) and no deaths have been reported, he noted "it's still a risky situation so we need to contain as much as possible and keep people far away." This explosion comes just 3 months after the disaster that too 47 lives in Lac-Megantic and once again raises questions over the safetyof dramatically increased rail traffic from/to the Bakken.

Local News details:
More color from eyewtinesses:
Images of the scene:

The accident occurred at 1am and a helicpter captured the initial images...


and as day light arrived, the proximity to the freeway was evident...



The Freeway remains closed...


Emergency crews battled a massive fire Saturday after a Canadian National tanker train carrying oil and gas derailed west of Edmonton, Alberta, overnight. No injuries have been reported so far.
Canadian National spokesman Louis-Antoine Paquin said 13 cars — four carrying petroleum crude oil and nine loaded with liquified petroleum gas — came off the tracks around 1 a.m. local time in the hamlet of Gainford, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Edmonton. The entire community of roughly 100 people was evacuated.
...
The train was travelling 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 U.S. 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 in the U.S., and Saskatchewan and Manitoba in Canada.
The train that crashed in the small Quebec town was carrying oil from North Dakota to a refinery in New Brunswick, Canada.

The train, using DOT-111 railcars, was operated by a U.S. company, the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway.

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