Tank cars on derailed freight train still burning in Saskatchewan

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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SPY HILL, Sask. - Several tank cars continued to burn Monday at a site near the Saskatchewan-Manitoba boundary where a CN freight train derailed.
A three-kilometre evacuation zone remained in effect near Spy Hill, Sask., where 36 rail cars left the tracks early Saturday. The evacuation included 10 homes, but no one was injured.
The burning tank cars carried propane, plastic pellets and benzene.
Short-term exposure to high levels of benzene can cause drowsiness, dizziness, unconsciousness and even death. But CN spokesman Kevin Franchuk said there was no threat to public safety.
"Much of the (benzene) has already burned off," said Franchuk. "The propane cars are still burning. Some of the plastic pellet cars are still smoldering, so that all has to be monitored.
"The black smoke is nearly gone and the fire has been significantly reduced," he said. "The safety perimeters will remain in place around the site as a precautionary measure."
Officials from Saskatchewan's Environment Ministry were at the site to monitor the situation. Franchuk said CN also brought in its own air monitoring team from the U.S.
"Environmental experts have confirmed that the smoke plume is not a health risk and they continue to monitor the area."
A temporary track around the derailment was expected to be completed Monday and trains - including Via Rail - were expected to resume running on the line by early evening.
The Transportation Safety Board was investigating the cause of the derailment.

Organizations: CN, Environment Ministry, Via Rail Transportation Safety Board

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, SPY HILL, U.S.

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