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UPDATE: Train derailment near New Hazelton

UPDATE: Coal and cars being removed. CN: no injuries or dangerous goods in coal train derailment.
Coal train derailment near New Hazelton. (Ian Johnston photo)

From Emergency Management B.C.:

January 21, 2018 - 5:40 pm

The bulk of the spilled coal has been removed from the ice on Mission Creek (also known as Station Creek). A full train track closure is occurring today from 4 p.m. until midnight to allow crews to remove the wrecked coal train cars that are near the creek.

Additional sediment fencing and crews with hand tools will be at the ready to deal with any coal that could be moved towards the water during the recovery of the wrecked cars. Crews are also working to divert some of the stream flow away from the coal that has entered the water so it can be safely removed.

The B.C. Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy and Environment & Climate Change Canada both collected water samples on the evening of Jan. 20. Water sampling and monitoring continued today.

Results of the water monitoring and sampling are being compiled and are scheduled to be shared by CN Rail tomorrow (Monday, Jan. 22).

The next update will be provided as soon as new information is available.

January 20, 2018 - 4:50 pm

The coal spilled as a result of yesterday’s train derailment near Hazelton, B.C. has entered Station Creek in one location.

Protective measures are being taken to limit the spread of coal into the water column of the creek. Onsite water monitoring began yesterday and continued today.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy is drafting an order to issue to CN Rail to ensure the proper steps are taken to mitigate any impacts. One Environmental Emergency Response Officer (EERO) remains onsite to monitor the cleanup.

The Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Doug Donaldson, toured the incident site this afternoon.

January 20, 2018 - 9:30 am

Yesterday morning (Friday, January 19), a loaded CN Rail coal train derailed in between the two communities of New Hazelton and South Hazelton. The derailment occurred near an overhead highway crossing above Highway 16. The highway remains open.

Twenty-seven train cars derailed and are lying on their side. The cars were carrying approximately 100 tons of coal each. Each car has lost at least part of their load.

CN Rail reports the majority of the coal has remained on the railroad’s right of way, however, some has left the right of way and is on top of a frozen creek called Station Creek (also known as Mission Creek). Protective measures have been taken to stop the coal from entering the running water.

Two Environmental Emergency Response Officers (EEROs) with B.C. Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy travelled to the site yesterday to assess the situation. The two responding EEROs are working with CN Rail’s environmental emergency response crew to ensure the coal spill is cleaned up.

CN Rail has notified local First Nation communities.

Friday Interior News story:

Crews are responding to a train derailment involving southwest New Hazelton.

The incident involving 27 cars pulled by a westbound coal train happened at about 8 a.m. today. A CN spokesperson said in an email that there are no reports of injuries and no dangerous goods involved.

She added that emergency response crews and environmental teams are responding to assess the situation and begin a clean-up.

The derailment was near the Highway 16 overpass, but no crossings were blocked.

Photos provided by the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition show coal spilled into the Mission Creek.

The cause of the incident remains under investigation.

A CN train derailed on Dec. 8 near the Bulkley Canyon east of New Hazelton. CN then said the 50 coal cars were empty in that incident.

The derailment was near the Highway 16 overpass between New Hazelton and South Hazelton. (Google Map)
Coal train derailment near New Hazelton. (Ian Johnston photo)
Coal train derailment near New Hazelton. (Contributed photo)
Coal train derailment near New Hazelton. (Michael Grace-Dacosta photo)
Coal train derailment near New Hazelton. (Michael Grace-Dacosta photo)
Coal train derailment near New Hazelton. (Michael Grace-Dacosta photo)
Water samples taken near the sight of coal train derailment. (Provided by Skeena Wild Conservation Coalition.)