Probe into train derailment to begin
Oct 21, 2013 / 9:49 am
An investigation into a derailed CN tanker train west of Edmonton could begin Monday as soon as a controlled burn at the site of the derailment extinguishes.
Dan Holbrook, manager of the Transportation Safety Board's western regional operations, says a team of three specialists will begin their probe of the freight train derailment that occurred near Gainford, Alta. on Saturday, once the liquefied petroleum gas has burned off.
"They will be into the site early this morning and they will be able to hopefully determine the cause of this derailment," Holbrook told CTV's Canada AM in a telephone interview Monday.
Late Sunday, CN Rail began a contained burn of liquefied petroleum gas at the site of the derailment. Officials said that it was the safest and most effective way to allow the residents in the area to eventually return to their homes.
Approximately 100 residents are still under an evacuation order.
Holbrook said train inspections, including brake tests, are conducted on a "regular basis." He said his team of inspectors will look over the train's inspection report as well as a detailed inspection report of the cars involved in the derailment.
Thirteen of the 130 cars on a CN train travelling from Edmonton to Vancouver came off the tracks at approximately 1 a.m. Saturday morning. Four cars carrying crude oil remained intact, but three cars carrying liquefied petroleum gas caught fire, CN said.
Residents in the area were evacuated after two explosions were reported. There were no injuries in the derailment. Officials said the evacuation order may be lifted on Tuesday.
The derailment is the third involving CN trains in October raising new safety concerns involving trains carrying flammable and explosive materials.
NDP Transport Critic Olivia Chow said more inspections are needed on both the tracks and the trains.
"Right now, it's only up to the rail companies do their own inspection. That kind of regulation is really hurting the rail system," Chow told Canada AM on Monday.
CN said no issues were found when the tracks were tested last week and train inspections performed on Friday.
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