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Fire allowed to burn out

UPDATE: 1:05 p.m.

A spectacular explosion and fire, fuelled by ethanol, has been allowed to burn out in Port Coquitlam, B.C.

The crash between the double tanker and the rail engine happened inside the Canadian Pacific Rail yard at about 7 p.m. Monday.

Residents were forced from the neighbourhood, a local mall was evacuated and the nearby Lougheed Highway was closed for several hours.

Fire Chief Nick Delmonico said the truck's tank was split open and a spark from somewhere set off a blast and fire.

"These fires are extremely dangerous. Obviously because initially, most times, you don't know what the product is until you get there," he said.

"Sometimes it takes some detective work to find out what it exactly is, so you're always concerned about both the explosive level of something like that and also toxicity for first responders."

The chief said the railway presents one of their biggest potentials for hazard in the city and they train for it accordingly.

Delmonico said they decided to allow the fire to consume the highly flammable liquid.

"We kind of let it burn until the fuel level was quite low then we did what's called a flare. We bumped the car to try to get it to spill out a little bit, which it did and opened it up, and then we were able to put it out at that point," he explained.

No one was injured.

RCMP are investigating the incident.


UPDATE: 9:45 p.m.

Officials in Port Coquitlam say there have been no reports of injuries as a result of a fire at the Canadian pacific Railyard in Port Coquitlam Monday evening.

A fully-loaded tanker truck, loaded with ethanol, collided with a rail car, causing a massive fire, according to Fire Chief Nick Delmonico.

"It abruptly exploded…The rail car and the train and the semi are all on fire," Delmonico told CTV News Monday night.


ORIGINAL: 8:30 p.m.

An explosion at the CP Railyard in Port Coquitlam has prompted the evacuation of businesses in the area.

According to CTV Vancouver, RCMP are evacuating businesses after a massive fire erupted.

The fire was caused when a fuel truck and a train collided.

A statement issued by the city to CTV says a tanker truck carrying ethanol gas hit a CN Rail car.

Businesses within 800 metres of the railyard are being evacuated.

More information when it becomes available.

                                                                                                                                 --with files from CTV Vancouver



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