Saskatchewan homes evacuated after train carrying propane tanks derails
Source: Canwest News Service
Published: December 5th 2009

SPY HILL, Sask. — Firefighters spent Saturday battling a blaze at the scene of a freight train derailment near the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border.

The 168-car train was carrying propane tanks when it went off the tracks around 7 a.m. local time near the Spy Hill Rural Municipality in Saskatchewan.

The accident sent greyish-black smoke billowing into the air, as authorities evacuated half a dozen nearby homes and declared a no-fly zone around the site, located about 13 kilometres from the Manitoba border.

Spry Hill Reeve Bernard Mikolas said about 17 cars derailed.

No injuries were reported.

“There’s absolutely no danger to the public,” CN spokeswoman Kelly Svendsen said Saturday as fire crews continued to work at the site.

Svendsen said the propane tanks are designed to vent in the event the cars are damaged — and it was that escaped product that was burning. They are designed in that way to prevent an explosion, she said.

She said a “recovery plan” was in place.

RCMP said they had evacuated a two-kilometre radius around the crash scene for safety purposes, and Transport Canada ordered a six-kilometre no-fly zone around the area.

RCMP were unclear Saturday afternoon when families might be able to return home, saying that decision would rest with emergency personnel.

With files from Regina Leader-Post