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Fiery Train Derailment south of Plaster Rock continues to burn

| January 9, 2014


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It’s been just under 48 hours since the fiery train derailment just south of Plaster Rock; and the fire still continues to burn. One hundred fifty people were evacuated as a safety precaution, and responders say they can’t estimate when evacuees will get back to their homes until a plan of action is approved and the fire is put out completely. News Source 8’s Angela Christoforos reports…

Karen Green who was evacuated from her home said,  “I have no idea when we’ll be allowed to return to our homes.”

That’s the story for all 150 evacuees following Tuesday’s fiery train derailment South of Plaster Rock in Wapske. It’s been 2 days since it happened and according to CN Rail 2 cars with propane and 1 car of crude oil are still burning on site along with a smaller fire involving diesel fuel from the derailed locomotive.

CN Rail Director of Public and Government Affairs Jim Feeny said, “It’s perhaps a quarter of what it was Tuesday night following the derailment, and it’s been fairly steady at that level for the last day or so.”

Regional Coordinator of Public Safety Bruno Cyr said, “It’s not getting more dangerous it’s under control it’s stable, it’s just a matter of how to put it out.”

Putting out the fire is a joint effort; CN Rail officials say the safety of the public and the crews that are responding is a top priority. The Canadian Red Cross is at the Tobique Plex community center providing assistance to evacuees, and they’ve also been allowed temporary access to their homes.

Marc Belliveau of the Canadian Red Cross said, “We’re up to 15 people that have registered, which makes up 23 households, some people have come in looking for assistance and we’ve been able to help them with that.”

Dozens of crews are on site, and officials have been developing a plan to extinguish the fire safely and remove the cars from the scene. Until that process is completed, officials can’t estimate when evacuees will get back to their homes.

“We know that people are impatient to go home,” said Feeny.

“Day by day. That’s all you can do,” said Green.

The Safety Transport Board of Canada is still investigating the cause of Tuesday’s train derailment. Any evacuees that haven’t registered with the Canadian Red Cross are urged to go to the Tobique Plex in Plaster Rock to do so.

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