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Train derailment near Plaster Rock, New Brunswick sparks large fire

Digital writers

Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 11:42 AM -

A train derailment in northwestern New Brunswick is the cause of a massive fire near Plaster Rock.

Officials say the CN Rain train, which was hauling crude oil and propane, went off the track at about 7 pm on Tuesday night.

A fire burned through the night and into Wednesday morning prompting the evacuation of about 50 homes in the area.

CN Rail spokesperson Jim Feeny says the fire has been contained, but crews were planning to do an aerial surveillance to get more information about the blaze and any dangers involved before sending crews in to clean up the wreck.

He said initial indications are that 15 cars and one locomotive derailed, though the train consisted of 122 cars and four locomotives. 

Of the cars that derailed, four were carrying propane and another four were carrying crude oil.

Feeny says, full emergency response from Moncton, Toronto and Montreal will be deployed and "their priority is to protect the safety of the people and the environment.''

According to the regional medical office of health, the fire could affect air quality east of the derailment and those most vulnerable, including infants, children, older adults and people with chronic heart or lung diseases, should stay indoors.

Officials say rail safety has become a major issue especially since the deadly derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec last summer and as a growing amount of fuel oils and crude petroleum is carried by train across the country.

With files from The Canadian Press

Lac-Megantic fire burned brightly enough to be seen from space
Lac-Megantic still in shambles after rail disaster
CN freight train derails west of Saskatoon
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