Evacuation of Alberta hamlet rescinded after CPR train derailment

Part of the highway east of Medicine Hat was ordered closed

Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a train derailment in southeastern Alberta that forced people from their homes and the temporary closure of a stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway.

Residents in and around the hamlet of Irvine were told to evacuate the area as a precaution after part of a Canadian Pacific Railway train derailed Friday afternoon, however, CPR says the evacuation notice was lifted just before 11p.m.

Part of the highway east of Medicine Hat was ordered closed but was reopened in both directions Friday night.

The Alberta government issued the emergency alert, noting the derailment involved chemical exposure and damage to the rail line. But there was no report of any injuries.

CPR issued a statement Friday night that said two cars carrying styrene were leaking “at a minimal rate from their top valves” and that “those small leaks were being contained.”

The statement added that no rail cars had been breached, that CP has established air monitoring in the area, has fire suppression systems on hand if required, and is taking every precaution to protect public safety.

Canadian Pacific said the derailment happened at about 3:20 p.m. and that it had dispatched a team to the site.

The railway said it is working closely with local fire officials, Alberta emergency response officials, local government, the Red Cross and other stakeholders to respond to the accident.

Witness Trehia Stevenson said she was driving down the highway with her mother when they came across the derailment moments after it happened.

“All of a sudden there was a ton of smoke. There was some kind of fire,” she said.

“When we pulled up, we could see that the train was derailed. It was all piled up and the smoke was coming from it. I am pretty sure there wasn’t any tanker cars. It was cargo cars.”

Stevenson said she could only see one car on fire, but there was a grass fire as well.

She said the derailment included about a dozen rail cars and was right on the western edge of the hamlet, less than a kilometre from homes.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Rainbow Saddleback faces 15 break and enter related charges

Maskwacis, Wetaskiwin men charged by RCMP in relation to break and enters

Five things you should know about Impaired Driving

Too many risks, no rewards for impaired driving

Pigeon Lake re-zoning defeated by 2-5 county council vote

County of Wetaskiwin council denies Frank Dyck’s re-zoning

Special guest to city rocked a Wetaskiwin stage Aug. 31

From ferries to festivals, Jeremy Dallas known for entertaining audiences

Smoking fire safety tips, for both indoors and out

Prevention is easy with a bit of forethought

No holiday for campaigning leaders on Thanksgiving weekend, but pace slows

There is a little over a week to go before election day, and advanced polls are now open

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

PHOTOS: Kipchoge becomes first runner to dip under 2 hours for marathon

Olympic champion and world record holder from Kenya clocks 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds

Mourners gather for slain teenager’s funeral in Hamilton, Ont.

Devan Bracci-Selvey’s obituary says he also had ‘a loving heart for animals’

1/3 of Canadian men won’t share their feelings for fear of being ‘unmanly’: report

Fifty-nine per cent of men said society expects them to be ‘emotionally strong and not show weakness’

Dog owners have reduced risk of dying from heart problems, says researcher

Researchers analyzed data on more than 3.8 million people taken from 10 studies

Winterhawks ice Rebels 5-0

Rebels take on Medicine Hat on the road Saturday night

Deceased adult male recovered from Battle River in Ponoka

Incident not considered suspicious by RCMP

Most Read