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Updated: Thu, 12 Sep 2013 00:39:58 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Calgary train derailment evacuees allowed to return home



Calgary train derailment evacuees allowed to return home

Calgary residents forced to leave their homes as a precaution Wednesday after a train carrying flammable liquids derailed in the city's southeast can now return home.

Many of the roads near the site have since reopened, but parts of Blackfoot Trail will remain closed overnight.

"Ninth Avenue reopened, evacuees returning," tweeted Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. "Blackfoot will remain closed overnight, working hard to open for a.m. commute."

People living south of Ninth Avenue between 13th and 15th streets had been told to leave the area after several tanker cars containing flammable liquids came off the tracks as a slow-moving northbound train was leaving the Alyth Rail Yard near 19th Avenue and 15th Street around 5 p.m. MT.

Roughly 142 homes were affected by the evacuation order.

A Canadian Pacific Railway spokesperson says there were no leaks or injuries in the incident that led to major traffic delays in the area.

CP says the cars contained diluent, which is used to thin petroleum products — including bitumen from the oilsands — to help transport them through pipelines.

Tankers carrying hydrocarbon, says fire official

But acting deputy chief Brian McAsey of the Calgary Fire Department said the substance was a hydrocarbon much like gasoline.

He said crews are emptying the cars of their product so they can be uprighted.

"There's been no injuries, and so everyone is alright," said McAsey.

"It's completely safe right now. We have been having to close down the roadways mainly around here for public safety and make sure we keep people away. Our first responders are fine and we're just going about this methodically. Unfortunately it will take a number of hours and I hope the imposition on Calgarians will soon be over."

Some Calgary Transit routes near the scene also had to be detoured earlier in the day.

"CP response crews worked with Calgary first responders in ensuring the site remained safe and secure," said CP spokesman Ed Greenburg.

He said an investigation has been launched to determine cause. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has also sent an investigator to look into the incident.

External Links

Diluent fact sheet

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