TORONTO, April 2 /CNW/ - On Friday, March 30, 2007, at 2:00 p.m., an
Ontario Northland freight train derailed 10 miles north of Englehart (2 hours
north of North Bay, Ontario). No one was injured in the incident.
22 of the 37 cars on the train derailed - seven cars carrying various
commodities and 15 sulphuric acid cars. Five of the sulphuric acid cars had
been leaking, however all leaks had been contained as of Sunday morning.
Emergency response personnel from Ontario Northland and from the shipper
are on site responding to the situation. In addition, personnel from the
Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment
Canada, CANUTEC (the Canadian Transport Emergency Centre operated by Transport
Canada) and two environmental consulting firms are assisting in the assessment
Additional incident details and an update on the clean-up and remediation
efforts are noted below:
A closer inspection of the site has revealed that 22 cars derailed on
Friday (versus the original estimate of 24 cars).
It is estimated that two tank cars of sulphuric acid have been lost
(between 100,000 and 150,000 L). Some of this acid has drained into Miller
Creek (which is located next to the derailment site) and has adversely
affected the pH levels of the creek and, to a lesser extent, the Blanche River
into which the creek flows.
An alert was issued by the Timiskaming Health Unit on March 31, 2007,
advising residents and people in the area not to use the Blanche River water
system for any purpose until further notice.
Remediation Efforts/Progress Update
- Work to neutralize the acid was initiated promptly and is ongoing;
the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Natural Resources
and Environment Canada are monitoring the situation, along with the
two environmental consulting firms.
- All cars have been either rerailed or relocated off of the railway
- Personnel have begun transshipping the sulphuric acid (transferring
the acid from the derailed cars to new tank cars); one car had been
transshipped as of noon on April 2, 2007 and transshipping will be
ongoing until all acid has been transferred to new cars and removed
from the site.
- New rail has been put in place to assist with the transshipping. In
addition, Ontario Northland's engineering team has begun rebuilding
the remaining affected track.
- It is estimated that Ontario Northland's rail line will reopen on
Thursday, April 5, 2007. Freight customers have been contacted and
freight shipments are expected to resume once the line has been
- The Northlander passenger train will not be running between Cochrane
and North Bay until the line reopens. In the interim, motor coaches
are being substituted.
An initial investigation of the site did not reveal a cause for the
incident. An in-depth investigation will be undertaken by the Ontario
Northland team to identify the cause and make recommendations for future
For further information:
For further information: Beverly Martin, Manager of Public Relations,
Ontario Northland, w) (705) 472-4500 or 1-800-363-7512 ext. 265, c) (705)
845-8884, e) email@example.com