A controlled explosion was set just a couple hours ago on the scene of the train derailment south of Plaster Rock. Officials say it’s the safest and quickest way to deal with the LPG fires that are still burning. News Source 8’s Angela Christoforos reports…
Bruno Cyr of Public Safety said, “This is a controlled burn that will be carried out by a highly trained team of experienced experts. This operation is necessary to get people back in their homes, as soon as possible.
A fire suppression technique called vent and burn was used on site of the derailment south of Plaster Rock. Officials say this approved plan is the most effective and safest way to deal with the LPG fires.
Jim Feeny, Director of Public and Government Affairs of CN Rail said, “As the vapor comes out of the car and ignites the vapor and the liquid will both burn off over the course of the next hour that will then deal with the product the LPG that’s in the car, and allow us to safely remove the car, the fire will be extinguished, the cars will be removed, and then things will start returning back to normal.”
Things haven’t been normal for 150 evacuees since the derailment happened on Tuesday.
Evacuee Kevin Kinney said, “People are out of their homes people are away from their familiar surroundings.”
Evacuee Karen Green said, “Just everythings got to play it’s course and there’s no sense in getting upset it’s not going to change anything.
Officials though are hopeful that the controlled vent and burn will change the status of the fiery derailment and get it closer to being extinguished completely. The smaller diesel fuel fire has been put out and officials say once the LPG fires stop burning ; there will be a detailed assessment to ensure the site is secure.
Black smoke filled the sky from the derailment site where the controlled explosion happened, and as for the evacuees, no official word on when they will get to get home.
CN Rail believes a cracked wheel and axle failure was the cause of the derailment; but the Federal Transportation Safety Board says it’s still too early to determine the exact cause. CN Rail has said it is going to pay for the cost of cleanup as well as the inconvenience to evacuees.