Toxic rail cars to be pulled from Thompson River
Published: August 25, 2008
Source: CTV

Two months after a train derailment near Lytton, one of Canada's biggest rail companies is preparing to haul two chemical-laden tanker cars from the Thompson River.

On Monday, crews from CP Rail moved in to pump out the toxic compounds from the cars -- ethylene glycol -- before they haul out the partially submerged tanker cars themselves.

Two of the four tanker cars that derailed on Canada Day remain in the Thompson River, about 100 km north of Hope. Most of their chemical cargo, ethylene glycol, is still inside.

The accident itself happened when a slide came down during a massive downpour. Within days of the accident, two of the cars were hauled away.

There was confusion after the mishap, and CP initially said none of the chemical escaped. Environmental officials said there was a leak.

"We were concerned," said Chris O'Connor, Lytton's mayor.

But subsequent testing in the river has been reassuring. The mayor is pleased with how CP has handled the incident since.

"They kept the community informed and they did the very best they could to mitigate any impacts and they laid out the plan that they're carrying out now," said O'Connor.

Part of that plan was to wait almost two months before trying to remove the remaining two cars.

The wait was to allow the peak of the salmon run to pass.

Emptied of their cargo, the remaining cars could be hoisted from the Thompson as early as tomorrow.