November 27th 2009
Source: Canadian Press
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BOSTON BAR, B.C. - The Transportation Safety
Board has ordered a full investigation of a CN Rail derailment in
southern B.C. last week that saw two men trapped in a locomotive
while thousands of litres of diesel fuel leaked out.
The investigation is the first to look at a weather-related
derailment since the 1997 Fraser Canyon washout that killed two
Kamloops railroaders, said Dan Holbrook, Western Canada manager for
the federal board.
"Sometimes there are occurrences (where deaths are involved) and
it's clear when we investigate,'' Holbrook said Thursday. "In this
case there's another issue -- a locomotive overturned and the
operators were trapped for several hours.''
Teamsters Canada Rail Conference has expressed concerns about the
accident, noting it took two hours for rescue crews to reach the
men. The area, just south of Boston Bar in the Fraser Canyon,
experienced heavy rains earlier in the week, hampering rescue
The site of the crash was more than six kilometres from the access
point used by rescue crews. The overturned locomotive spilled diesel
fuel throughout the area.
"We're lucky there wasn't a post-incident fire,'' Holbrook said.
The train's locomotive engineer was knocked out in the derailment.
The men, both from Vancouver, were sent to hospital with injuries
that included cuts, scrapes and a broken thumb.
Kelli Svendsen, a spokeswoman with CN Rail, said the corporation
will co-operate with the investigation.
Holbrook said investigations of this type generally take about a