October 8th 2010
Source: Metroland Media Group Ltd
Printer friendly version
PARRY SOUND – A disastrous situation was diverted after a
Toronto-bound train containing dangerous material derailed on
Before 11 a.m. on Friday morning, 19 cars left the tracks, 15 of
them containing propane and fuel oil, on the Canadian National
railway near James Bay Junction Road, just south of town.
Immediately after the derailment, fire crews were deployed from
Parry Sound, the Municipality of McDougall and Seguin Township,
which executed an emergency action plan and set up an evacuation
“We dodged a bullet here,” said Mayor David Conn of Seguin after
seeing the wreckage for himself.
Although no major leaks were found, three homes and two businesses -
Forest Hill Grocery and Beaver Storage - within a 150-metre radius
of the derailment remain evacuated for precautionary measures.
“It just sounded like cars banging into each other, just a little
louder than normal. That’s all,” said an employee from Forest Hill
Grocery who was working at the time of the derailment on Friday.
“I didn’t now what it was until the police came in and told me to
Crews from CN rail worked around the clock beneath high-powered
lights, rebuilding 1,000-feet of damaged railroad and clearing
wreckage from off the train tracks.
The Ministry of Natural Resource and the Ministry of Environment was
also on site over the weekend assessing the area for damage.
As of Tuesday, only a 40-gallon spill was reported to have occurred
as fuel oil was being transferred to tanker trucks.
“We took care of it right away, so there’s no environmental impact.
It’s something very minor,” said Julie Senecal, spokesperson for CN
Senecal said damaged cars full of propane have yet to be emptied,
cleaned out and dissembled, a process that could take up to another
week. Although the train track is now operational, transferring
propane to tanker trucks still poses a risk to public safety, says
fire chief Dave Thompson of Seguin.
“Could something give? Yes, but they have redundancies built into
the system,” he said of the highly-regulated method and equipment
used to transfer the propane.
The cause of the derailment is still being investigated by both CN
Rail and the Transport Safety Board. CN Rail did not release details
of the cost of damage, which was primarily to property of CN Rail.
Joe Karwacki, a senior claims agent for CN Rail, said compensation
will be provided to townships that provided services after the
Displaced residents will also be reimbursed for expenses and are
being advised to keep their receipts.