Oshawa, Ont., residents returning home as derailment cleanup continues

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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OSHAWA, Ont. - Police say residents of an Oshawa, Ont., neighbourhood who left their homes following a train derailment are not being allowed to return home yet.
Police asked residents to evacuate a small area as a precaution because the freight train was hauling chemicals.
A police spokeswoman said Friday night she did not know how many people had been evacuated, but added that a shelter has been opened for evacuees.
Canadian Pacific said 27 of the train's 111 cars went off the tracks and one burst into flames that were doused by emergency crews.
Two locomotives also went off the tracks but no injuries were reported by emergency workers at the scene.
Hydrogen peroxide was among the chemicals carried by the train, but Durham Regional Police Sgt. Nancy Van Rooy said it wasn't considered to be dangerous.
"A number of them are tanker cars carrying chemicals, but I've not been made aware of any hazards," Van Rooy said.
Several of the train cars were piled up and crunched under a roadway overpass, and other cars were jammed into an accordion pattern in a corridor bordered by homes.
Two of the cars were driven into the yards of homes that back onto the tracks.
Among the evacuees was Tara St. Jean, 18, who was getting some dinner at nearby Johnny's Eatery while waiting to return home.
She was inside her bedroom in a home directly across the street from the derailment site when the train veered off the tracks.
"There was about 15 cars all piled up on top of each other, all mashed up under the bridge, and this white liquid (was) just streaming out of one of them," she said.
"Down the track a bit there was a bunch of smoke coming from behind all those houses."
The incident has shaken her, St. Jean said.
"(I was) scared about having to leave, where to go, if it was going to blow up and I would have nothing," she said, adding hours later she was just feeling frustrated and hoping to return home to her pet cats and dog.
Emergency medical services were on standby and Van Rooy said CP officials were making sure leaks from the tankers have been brought under control and that there's no potential for fire.
"A lot of tanker cars have been affected, none of which I'm told are empty. They are all full of various chemicals, perhaps more than hydrogen peroxide, but we are looking into what the contents are."
Van Rooy said area schools were also evacuated.
A spokesman for Canadian Pacific railway said the company will take a series of steps before beginning the investigation.
"CP's priority firstly is to ensure the safety of our employees and the surrounding community," said spokesman Mike LoVecchio.
"We will then work to mitigate any environmental damage and then focus on the investigation."

Organizations: Canadian Pacific

Geographic location: Oshawa

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