Deadly derailment leads to diesel spill, suspension of VIA Rail service
New challenges are surfacing three days after a train carrying liquid petroleum derailed near Ponton, Man., leaving one man dead and another seriously injured.
A provincial spokesperson says there was a leak of diesel fuel from the locomotive into a nearby waterway.
“Specialized spill recovery equipment is on its way to the site and will be used as part of the cleanup operation,” said the spokesperson in an email to CTV News late Tuesday afternoon.
“Manitoba Sustainable Development is monitoring the cleanup from the train derailment near Ponton. The train was carrying a variety of cargo including gasoline, liquid propane gas and butane, but there has been no indication that any of that cargo spilled or leaked,” read the email.
CTV News observed the leak, located off Hwy. 39, about 10 km west of Ponton, on Monday night.
“Makes me feel sick,” said Robert Ducharme who lives in Ponton.
“Some of my friends are commercial fisherman and this is flowing right into their lake and some of them are pulling out their nets,” he added.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada, the federal agency responsible for investigating rail accidents for cause and contributing factors, said there is no leak from the tanks cars.
“However damage to the locomotives during the derailment may have resulted in a leak from the locomotives, said spokesperson Alex Fournier in a statement to CTV News earlier Tuesday afternoon.
Transport Canada said two of its inspectors were at the derailment site Sunday and said none of the derailed railcars were leaking. That finding was echoed Tuesday.
“Two Transport Canada inspectors were at the derailment site again today and confirmed that none of the derailed railcars containing liquefied petroleum gas are leaking their contents. Manitoba Sustainable Development is working to contain the sheen on the Metishto River by deploying absorbent booms,” said a statement to CTV News.
On Tuesday CTV News went back to the river and found a crew there.
A provincial spokesperson said environment staff are on site and the cleanup is underway.
VIA Rail suspends operations
VIA Rail told CTV News Tuesday it has been forced to suspend its operations between Winnipeg and Gillam as a result of the derailment.
“Service on this 1,400 km segment will be restored as soon as the infrastructure is determined to be safe for passenger service,” said VIA Rail.