36 oil cars derail at St Lazare

February 16, 2019 7:39 pm

Thirty-six rail cars of crude oil derailed at St. Lazare at 3:30 am Saturday morning.

RM of Ellice-Archie Reeve Barry Lowes provided an update from the stage of the Pro-Resource Rally in Moosomin Saturday morning.

"When I got up this morning at 5 o'clock to feed the cows I did not think I would be on this stage," Lowes told the crowd.

"A 5 o'clock this morning I got a call from the fire chief at St. Lazare. He said there had been a train derailment. That's our greatest fear down there, because the rail goes right by the edge of town. The derailment was about five miles south of town. It's a long train, and right in the middle of it there are 36 cars derailed.

"Our biggest fear with not having enough pipelines, it was full of oil. When I got there there were hazmat, backhoes, it's just tremendous the number of people they pulled in there in a short period of time. They're trying to get it all cleaned up. They've got air quality specialists there, they've got water quality specialists.

"The site was not very far from the Assiniboine River. I can't tell you how far it is for sure, but it's running downhill. They are trying to contain it.

"I was talking to the CN guy, he's trying his best. They've got people coming from everywhere to help. They figure 24 to 48 hours they should have it all cleaned up and the trains should be running again."

Lowes told the crowd that he thought it was ironic that there was an oil train derailment on the same day there was a rally in Moosomin aimed at building new pipelines and reducing the need for transporting oil by rail, which has been shown to be a less safe option.

"When I got up this morning and I heard this, I said what are the chances?" he told the crowd at the rally. "We have two railways that go right across Canada, the full length, we have a pipeline rally in Moosomin, 30 miles from this site, and we have a train derail, and lo and behold it has oil in it. What are the chances?"

"Our environmental team is responding to start cleanup, remediate the site and protect the environment," Jonathan Abecassis of CN Rail said. "A perimeter has been set up around the area to facilitate site access. "

There were no rinjuries or fire.

The derailment occurred at 3:30 a.m.Saturday.

Abecassis said CN crews will be conducting a full site assessment to determine how much product has spilled and exactly how many cars are involved.

First responders are on location and investigators from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada have been sent to the scene.