Tuesday, September 23rd16.5°C
23284
22768

Safety agency to carry out full probe of CN train derailment in New Brunswick

PLASTER ROCK, N.B. - The federal Transportation Safety Board said Monday it will conduct a full investigation into the cause of a CN freight train derailment in northwestern New Brunswick last week, with a specific focus on a cracked wheel.

Lead investigator Guy Laporte said he wants to know why the wheel on a car near the front of the train broke and went off the rail in the community of Wapske, near the village of Plaster Rock.

"If we find anything that's bad (with the wheel), we will make sure the industry will know about that and all of the railway companies," Laporte said in an interview.

Laporte said a single broken wheel can rapidly knock an entire train off the tracks.

"A broken wheel could break a rail, or break a switch or break any component on the track," he said.

He said it's too early to say whether there is a wider problem with the manufacturing or maintenance of the wheel or whether it was an isolated incident.

There were 60 cars between the wheel and the pileup of derailed tanker cars, he said. In all, 19 cars and a locomotive on the 122-car train left the tracks last Tuesday, spilling diesel and oil and causing a fire that lasted for days. About 150 people had to be evacuated from their homes.

The DOT-111 tank cars involved in the derailment are considered the workhorses of the North American rail fleet and make up about 70 per cent of all tankers on the rails.

CN (TSX:CNR) spokesman Jim Feeny said the construction of DOT-111 cars is a broad issue confronting the railway industry.

"Our CEO has called for a phase-out of these (cars), but it's an industry-wide issue, not just a CN issue," he said.

Laporte said the two cars that were punctured didn't have head shields, which are heavy steel plates at the ends of tanker cars designed to reduce the chance of punctures.

"We are looking to find ... if a shield had been in front, would the tank have been more protected?" he said.

The federal government proposed new regulations on Friday that would require rail tank cars that carry crude oil and other dangerous goods to be built stronger and less likely to rupture in a derailment. The proposals would include the use of head shields.

Makers of the cars are already building them to the soon-to-be-implemented standards.

As the Transportation Safety Board's investigation gets underway, the New Brunswick government and CN Rail are cleaning up the pollution from the derailment.

Richard Keeley, a regional director with the province's Environment Department, said 50 wells are being tested for pollution and results will be reported by the Health Department beginning Tuesday. In the meantime, residents are being told not to drink their water.

Keeley said two people whose house is within 100 metres of the derailment were still unable to return home Monday due to the cleanup. He estimated it will be two weeks before soil remediation at the site is completed.

Dump trucks have been hauling away soil contaminated with diesel fuel and heavy and light crude oil, Keeley said.

There was also pollution from a propane car that was blown up in a controlled explosion, he added.

— By Michael Tutton in Halifax.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News




Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15125.67-3.33
S&P CDNX925.18-2.91
DJIA17055.87-116.81
Nasdaq4508.688-19.001
S&P 5001982.77-11.52
CDN Dollar0.9028-0.0004
Gold1222.10+0.10
Oil91.50-0.91
Lumber329.10-2.90
Natural Gas3.88+0.011

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.135-0.035
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.26-0.01
Cantex0.05+0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.20-0.0195
Metalex Ventures0.06+0.01
Russel Metals34.95-0.42
Copper Mountain Mining2.42+0.02
Colorado Resources0.165+0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.0157-0.0049
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.02-0.005
Mission Ready Services0.265-0.005

 



22908

FEATURED Property
20144342 Bedroom Condo with Lock Out Studio At Big White Ski Resort
$199,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Is this a fair offer from ICBC?

“Is this a fair offer from ICBC?”…. “How much should I settle for?”… “What is my claim worth?” These are just some of the questions I regularly get as...


Disruptive innovation

Last night I was privileged to be able to speak at the Greater Westside Board of Trade business awards dinner. Photo: ContributedI talked about Innovation and Collaboration which are two very interes...


Executors and their duties

There will be a time when you will need to decide who you should appoint as executor of your Will. As well, there may be a time when you will be asked by someone to act as the executor of his or her W...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22632