Another crude oil train derails and catches fire in Canada

The latest in a string of accidents involving oil transport

Topics: Oil Train, crude oil, Canada, ,

A train carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire in northwest New Brunswick, near the U.S. border, joining a string of accidents that have brought the safety of rail transport into question.

According to the Canadian National Railway, 16 cars in total derailed, including eight carrying “dangerous goods” — propane and crude oil — and one locomotive. About 45 nearby homes were evacuated, but there have been no reports of deaths. It’s not yet clear what caused the damage or what type of oil the train, which originated in Toronto, was transporting.



“The biggest concern is the propane cars,” Tim Corbin, the fire chief of a nearby community, told CBS News Wednesday morning. ”That’s our biggest concern because if they happen to explode, we’re looking at major damage.” Emergency responders haven’t been able to get close enough to the train to determine if those cars are involved in the fire.

The past year has seen five major accidents involving trains carrying crude oil, the most devastating of which saw 47 killed in Quebec last July.

Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

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