Residents of the Canadian village of Guernsey have been evacuated after a train carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire a few kilometers away from the settlement that was affected by a similar disaster last year.
Videos from the site show plumes of black smoke rising from a pile of cars crammed into each other. Thirty one cars derailed and a dozen of them caught fire, while the train was 104 cars long.
The crash took place some 2.4 kilometers east of Guernsey and the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency put out a voluntary evacuation order to the village Guernsey over smoke concerns.
It’s not the first time the area suffers from a train derailment. Some 1.5 million litres of crude oil leaked in a similar incident in December only 11 kilometers from the current crash site. That crash is still being investigated by the safety board.
Marlo Pritchard, president of the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency, said in a press conference that it is a
“concern” the two crashes were so close together.
Federal Transport Minister Marc Gurneau has ordered all trains moving on federal railways to slow down.
“I am very concerned about the derailments of railway cars containing dangerous goods in the past 12 months,” Marc Garneau announced. Trains moving through metropolitan areas are ordered to move at 32 km/h. They can go a maximum of 40 km/h in all other
The minister calls the order a “precautionary measure” and he says he will “not compromise on safety.”
Asked whether trains would still travel through that area, Pritchard replied, “It’s way too early to even talk
about that. We have to wait and see what the cause is.”
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