06/27/2013 03:20 EDT | Updated 08/27/2013 05:12 EDT

Calgary Train Derailment: Mayor Nenshi Blasts CP Over Bridge Inspection

CALGARY - Calgary's mayor says he has a lot of serious questions for Canadian Pacific after a bridge across the swollen Bow River failed and train cars carrying oil products derailed.

Naheed Nenshi says he has concerns about the timing of the bridge inspection in relation to the recent flood and the fact railways are exempt from municipal regulations.

Railways are under federal jurisdiction and are responsible for their own inspections.

"Certainly once this crisis is over, I'll be looking for a lot of answers from a lot of people,'' he said Thursday at an update on the bridge collapse.

"When was that bridge inspected? Why was it not inspected after Saturday? Remember, on Saturday the Bow River was still running higher than anyone had ever seen in their lifetimes,'' Nenshi said.

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CP issued a statement Thursday that said the bridge had been inspected on Saturday and the tracks on Monday.

"I'll be very blunt. I'll probably get in trouble for saying this. We've seen a lot of people lose their jobs at CP over the last year. How many bridge inspectors did they fire?''

Nenshi said railways are private companies and it's been a point of contention for municipalities who are powerless to regulate them.

"I will tell you that this has been a constant frustration for every municipal politician in this country forever.''

Rail carriers aren't even subject to city noise bylaws, he said.

"We have to have a serious conversation about this. This is a private business and other private businesses are subject to (municipal) regulation.''

The mayor said the bridge in question is old and was not built into the bedrock - "something I didn't know until today'' - whereas all the city's bridges are. He said all the municipal bridges had been inspected three times since the flood and were solid.