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Wheel or axle blamed for train derailment

The federal Transportation Safety Board says their preliminary investigation into the train derailment in northwestern New Brunswick has found a cracked wheel and a broken rail but it's too early to say what caused the train to leave the tracks.

Guy Laporte, a senior investigator with the agency, says he has not been able to get close to the wreckage of the train because of a fire that has been burning since it derailed Tuesday night.

A spokesman for CN says the company believes a wheel and axle failure is the cause of the derailment based on its preliminary investigation, but Laporte says it's too early to determine that.

"It is too early to say what the cause is and contributing factors of this accident might be," Laporte told a news conference Thursday.

"The axle is not broken itself. It's not in two parts."

Laporte says 19 cars and a locomotive derailed in Wapske, near the village of Plaster Rock -- two more cars than CN previously said had left the tracks.

About 150 people had to be evacuated.

No one was injured.

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