01/13/2014 10:17 EST | Updated 03/15/2014 05:59 EDT

City of Burnaby asks for cargo info in wake of coal spill

Burnaby city council is debating a motion Monday night that would demand notice of dangerous goods moving through their city, along with formal hearings on the proposed expansion of coal exports by Port Metro Vancouver and more study on the impact of coal dust.

The motion comes in the wake of a trail derailment Saturday that saw three cars dumping coal into Burnaby’s Silver Creek. At around 11 a.m., nine rail cars carrying coal on a westbound CP Rail train operated by a CN Rail crew derailed near the intersection of Cariboo Road and Government Street.

Six of the cars remained upright, but three were on their sides and some of the contents had spilled out into a ditch.

On Monday, freight and passenger trains were running through Burnaby once again, but that city’s mayor says its first responders ought to know from Port Metro Vancouver in advance what dangerous goods are moving through the city.

"They've told us now they're willing to tell us after the fact what's gone through our communities, but they're not prepared to notify us of the different substances." 

"Now I ask you, how can I expect our first responders to go to the scene of a derailment not knowing what might be in that car?"

CN has blamed the derailment on heavy rain that led to a beaver dam washout, but the Transportation Safety Board says it won't sign off on that explanation until it has gathered more information.