Toxic rail cars to be pulled from Thompson
August 25, 2008
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months after a train derailment near Lytton, one of Canada's biggest
rail companies is preparing to haul two chemical-laden tanker cars from
the Thompson River.
On Monday, crews from CP Rail moved in to pump out the toxic compounds
from the cars -- ethylene glycol -- before they haul out the partially
submerged tanker cars themselves.
Two of the four tanker cars that derailed on Canada Day remain in the
Thompson River, about 100 km north of Hope. Most of their chemical
cargo, ethylene glycol, is still inside.
The accident itself happened when a slide came down during a massive
downpour. Within days of the accident, two of the cars were hauled away.
There was confusion after the mishap, and CP initially said none of the
chemical escaped. Environmental officials said there was a leak.
"We were concerned," said Chris O'Connor, Lytton's mayor.
But subsequent testing in the river has been reassuring. The mayor is
pleased with how CP has handled the incident since.
"They kept the community informed and they did the very best they could
to mitigate any impacts and they laid out the plan that they're carrying
out now," said O'Connor.
Part of that plan was to wait almost two months before trying to remove
the remaining two cars.
The wait was to allow the peak of the salmon run to pass.
Emptied of their cargo, the remaining cars could be hoisted from the
Thompson as early as tomorrow.