Cleanup of Emo Train Derailment Continues, Oil Leak Contained

Cleanup of Emo Train Derailment Continues, Oil Leak Contained

Updated: February 20, 2020 05:06 PM

Canadian National says crews continue to clean up a train derailment near the Rainy River, and oil that leaked from several tankers has been contained.


The derailment happened just south of Emo, Ontario, at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.  The area is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of International Falls and Fort Frances.

CN says a total of 33 cars derailed, and 26 are tank cars.  Three of them were confirmed to be "partially leaking" oil in the ground and a fourth may be leaking.

The company said the leaked oil was contained to the site and has not penetrated the ground or entered a waterway.  The site of the derailment appears to be about 2,000 feet (about 600 meters) from the Rainy River.

CN did not say how much oil leaked.

"The cleanup and site remediation is underway, starting with the removal of the crude oil from the ground and removal from the three damaged tank cars. This work is being done using vacuum trucks to prevent further spills of oil during the removal of the tank cars. The tank cars will be moved off to the side, away from the immediate derailment site, and clear of the railway track," CN said.

CN says there was no fire and no one was injured.

A precautionary evacuation that had affected people living within about a half-mile (800 meters) of the site was lifted Wednesday afternoon. A school that was closed Wednesday due to the derailment reopened Thursday.

Ontario Provincial Police have said there is no risk to public safety.

The derailment was still blocking Highway 602 as of Thursday afternoon, and the OPP said it is not known how long Highway 602 will be closed.  They are advising drivers to use Highway 613 as an alternate route.

"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. We will keep you updated as information becomes available," the company said in a statement.

CN said it and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada are investigating the cause of the incident

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