Evacuation of Alberta hamlet rescinded after CPR train derailment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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Manny’s Motel’ badly damaged by fire Jan. 15

Police say 40 Ave. closed due to fire, use alternate route

From courthouse to council’s house

Old courthouse had long history before becoming City Hall

Revenue Canada, RCMP don’t accept Bitcoin: police

RCMP issue Bitcoin warning posters

Writer says Alberta highway system falling apart

Highways in ‘deplorable’ condition: writer

County council denies request for parking lot

Buck Lake groups are welcome to raise funds and return to council

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lays charges in Stettler death

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 32, of Stettler is charged with second degree murder in the death of his father

Metis nations ask Ottawa to negotiate directly with them, not national body

Three provincial Metis nations will work through the national council until after the federal government releases its 2020 budget

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Sylvan Lake RCMP seek assistance in locating missing male

Mark Crier, 17, was last seen in Sylvan Lake on Jan. 13

UPDATE: Supreme Court dismisses B.C.’s appeal in Trans Mountain pipeline case

Judges decide whether B.C.’s power to protect environment can include impeding a federal project

Alberta says universities over-budget; need to freeze travel, hiring, hosting

Demetrios Nicolaides says spending is not meeting expectations

Over 16,000 people nabbed by RCMP between border crossings in 2019

In 2019, 63,830 claims were filed, up from 55,040 in 2018

Most Read