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Cleanup from trail derailment near Lacombe could take weeks

One full train car of asphalt oil believed to have been spilled
(Facebook photos)

Clean up work is continuing along the CP Rail line near Lacombe after a multi-car derailment the evening of July 2.

Blackfalds RCMP, Lacombe Police Service, EMS, the Lacombe Fire Department (LFD) and CP Rail and CN Rail initially responded to the scene at Highway 2A and Range Road 270A. CP Rail has taken over cleanup of the scene.

“They’re still down there working at it It’ll probably be several more days, possibly weeks, before they get it done … but that’s all up to CP right now and how they’re handling that,” said Dennis Cole, LFD chief and director of emergency management.

Cole added that the cleanup of lumber that was being transported in the rail cars is also under the purview of CP Rail.

“CP is working diligently to ensure the area is cleaned up, remediated and restored,” said Salem Woodrow, CP Rail spokesperson in a prepared statement.

Alberta Environment has also provided support in response to the incident, according to Woodrow.

The LFD was dispatched at 8:11 p.m. and arrived on the scene within five minutes, according to Cole.

They responded with about 20 crew members and eight firetruck units.

The spill was contained to the area where it was leaking, which was the ditch along the railway.

“We were made sure that it was contained to the area where it was and it did not pose any hazards to the people in the area,” said Cole.

The hazardous material team from Nova Chemicals was requested to assist and responded to the scene as well.

Cole estimated that the majority of a full train car of asphalt oil was spilled. The City of Lacombe put that amount at 32,000 litres in a recent statement.

Initial reports from the RCMP indicated an oil spill and a possible fire around the 23-car derailment however, subsequent reports indicated no fire and a leak in one of four cars that were carrying asphalt oil.

The incident remains under investigation by CP Rail Police.

READ MORE: Train carrying ‘tar oil’ derails between Blackfalds and Lacombe