Fire Fighting in Canada

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Cracked wheel, broken rail found at derailment site

Jan. 9, 2014, Plaster Rock, N.B. – A preliminary investigation into a fiery train derailment in northwestern New Brunswick has found a cracked wheel and broken rail at the site – but a senior federal investigator says it's too early to say what caused the train to leave the tracks.

January 9, 2014
By The Canadian Press

Jan. 9, 2014, Plaster Rock, N.B. – A preliminary investigation into a fiery train derailment in northwestern New Brunswick has found a cracked wheel and broken rail at the site – but a senior federal investigator says it's too early to say what caused the train to leave the tracks.

Guy Laporte of the Transportation Safety Board says he has had limited access to the scene of the wreckage because of a fire that has been burning since it derailed Tuesday night.

The CN freight train was carrying crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas when it derailed in Wapske.

CN spokesman Jim Feeny says the company believes a wheel and axle failure was the cause of the derailment based on its preliminary investigation, but Laporte said it's premature to determine that.

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Laporte says 19 cars and a locomotive from the 122-car train left the tracks – two more cars than CN previously said had derailed.

Feeny says on closer examination, the company discovered the wheels on two more cars had left the tracks but the cars were still upright.