|Prince George derailment is CN's 5th incident this August|
|August 22, 2005
The four cars from a CN Rail train that derailed near Prince George on Friday added to the mounting number of mishaps that have
plagued the company this month. It was the fifth accident involving the company's equipment since the beginning of August.
Four cars from a 23-car train jumped the track Friday afternoon at the old B.C. Rail station in Hixon, B.C., 63 km south of Prince George,
said a company spokesman. One car carried sodium chlorate, a chemical used in the pulp and paper industry. According to the
Extension Toxicology Network website, a single five- to 10-gram dose of sodium chlorate can be fatal in adults.
CN spokesman Graham Dallas said two shovelfuls of the chemical leaked from the car, but it was not enough to damage the
surrounding environment. The nearest body of water was about 150 metres away, he said. The track was back in operation early
The railway doesn't believe the latest incident is connected to the other recent accidents, which have happened throughout the month.
"There's no question this has been a challenging month for CN, but accidents are very rare in this railroad and in other railroads," said
Dallas. "I think that's why there's so much attention being paid."
A 44-car train derailed August 3rd along the north shore of Lake Wabamun in Alberta. In that incident, 12 of the rail cars ruptured, spilling
about 730,000 litres of bunker C fuel oil and a potentially hazardous wood preservative along the shore and into the lake.
Two days later, a CN freight train destined for Prince George derailed over the Cheakamus Canyon near Squamish, B.C. It spilled more
than 40,000 litres of highly corrosive sodium hydroxide into the river, killing thousands of fish and other wildlife.
Last week, a mudslide in the Fraser Canyon pushed three cars off the track 50 km east of Boston Bar, B.C. after the crew stopped to
remove rocks from the track.
On Thursday, one person was killed when a CN freight train and a garbage truck collided at a crossing near a Dow Chemical plant near
Fort Saskatchewan, northeast of Edmonton.
"We will be pursuing our investigations very, very carefully to find out what the cause of each accident was," said Dallas.
The accidents are being investigated by the Transportation Safety Board.
Environment Canada said CN Rail likely violated federal environmental legislation when its train cars derailed near Wabamun. The
agency is collecting evidence to prepare a brief for the Department of Justice. It could take months before a final decision about a
prosecution is made.
Source: Canadian Press
A train wreck in Alberta delivers a toxic shock:
CN looks less than honest