NEWS

Fire burns at CN derailment of crude, propane in Plaster Rock

01/08/2014 06:00 EST | Updated 03/10/2014 05:59 EDT
Fire burned throughout the night following the derailment of a CN Rail train hauling crude oil and propane in northwestern New Brunswick.

Plaster Rock Fire Chief Tim Corbin said a fire continues to burn at the site Wednesday morning and responders are waiting for daylight to determine how to proceed.

​"We could see the fire from quite a distance, so we haven't went right into it yet because we had to determine what was in those cars first," said Corbin.

"We have determined that the cars that are affected in the derailment are crude oil and propane cars," said Corbin. "We're waiting for daylight right now to get in and get a better look at it as how we're going to attack it."

The derailment happened around 7 p.m. Tuesday, near Plaster Rock.

Corbin said there are no homes or buildings in the immediate area, but about 50 homes in the vicinity have been evacuated.

Jim Feeny of CN Rail says 16 cars on the train derailed. One of them is at the front of the train and the other 15 are at the back of the train.

Of the 15 cars at rear, four are carrying crude oil and four are carrying propane, said Feeny.

"The biggest concern is the propane cars," said Corbin. "That's our biggest concern because if they happen to explode, we're looking at major damage.

"So we're trying to just keep everybody at a safe distance right now until we can get a clear picture of what we're dealing with."

​Corbin says he has heard reports of explosions associated with the derailment, but isn't able to confirm whether any occurred.

Hazardous material responders from Toronto, Moncton and Montreal were en route to the scene overnight.

The train was headed east from central Canada to Moncton.

The derailment happened in Wapske, in the area of the Longley Road where lumber cars are loaded.

People five kilometres away in Plaster Rock reported seeing flames.

Feeny said there were no injuries to the crew. There have been no reports of injuries to the public.

The Red Cross established a shelter for evacuees in Plaster Rock, though it was not utilized by anyone overnight.

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