NEWS

Freight Train Derails Near Laval, Que., Sending Empty Cars Into River

The train's cars usually carry cement.

10/13/2017 07:15 EDT | Updated 10/13/2017 19:09 EDT
Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press
Workers clear up debris after a train derailment on Oct. 13, 2017 on Laval, Que., east of Montreal. No injuries were reported after seven cars fell off the bridge tracks.

LAVAL, Que. — Nobody was hurt and there was little environmental damage after several empty cars from a derailed freight train plunged off a bridge near Montreal, a local mayor said Friday.

Laval Mayor Marc Demers praised the work of emergency responders and promised a full investigation into the incident.

"We want to know the exact causes of the derailment so any corrections can be made quickly to avoid another accident of this type, which could have had much more serious consequences,'' he said in a statement.

Seven cars fell off bridge

The derailment happened at about 9 p.m. Thursday near the entrance to the Sophie-Masson Bridge, which connects Laval and Terrebonne.

The Terrebonne fire department said the freight cars, which usually carry cement powder, were empty at the time of the accident.

By Friday morning, operations were underway to remove the eight cars that had fully or partially derailed, according to a spokesperson for the Laval police department.

Genevieve Major said seven cars fell onto the riverbank or between the riverbank and the bridge, while an eighth partially left the tracks and also needed to be moved.

Bridge damaged

Eric Harnois, a division chief with the Terrebonne fire department, said the 107-car train belongs to the Quebec-Gatineau Railway company.

Harnois said the bridge over the Mille-Iles River was damaged by the derailment and engineers would be called in to determine whether it is safe.

There was no immediate word on what caused the derailment.

The Quebec government also assured the population that all measures were being taken to protect people and the environment.

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