Clean-up continues at CN derailment site

(Updated Feb. 20)

At approximately 8:30 p.m. Feb. 18, a CN train derailed near Emo, at Highway 602, south of the Trans Canada Highway.

The crash blocked one crossing, according to CN. Approximately 30 railcars derailed in various positions, with 26 carrying crude oil. At least two cars leaked. The amount of crude oil spilled is still being determined, according to CN.

No injuries or fires were reported.

As a precaution, firefighters and police imposed an 800 metre evacuation zone, which was lifted Wednesday afternoon. Donald Young school was closed to students Wednesday, but was reopened on Thursday. The Emo landfill is closed for Thursday and Saturday, and curbside collection is cancelled for Friday.

Local emergency responders, CN police and provincial authorities, including the OPP have been on site since the crash, assessing the situation. The federal government has deployed an investigator from the Transportation Safety Board to launch a formal investigation into the cause of the crash.

As of Thursday afternoon, CN crews have removed the derailed cars and replaced damaged track. Normal operation is expected to resume Thursday evening.

“CN would like to thank the emergency responders, and we apologize for the disruption this incident is causing the evacuated residents and the inconvenience to the citizens of Emo,” said a spokesperson for CN.

According to the township of Emo, trains will be operating at a reduced speed, and residents are told to expect extended waits at crossings. Residents are also reminded to stay off the rails.

Once rail operation resumes, Highway 602 will remain closed to the public until further notice. Initial investigations indicated that no drinking water has been affected by the spill, according to a press release from Emo.

“The township of Emo wishes to acknowledge the contributions of the volunteers , businesses, organizations and neighbouring municipalities who have generously assisted us throughout this incident. Your generosity has been greatly appreciated.”