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No one was hurt and no dangerous goods were spilled after a freight train derailed in Saint-Polycarpe, west of Montreal, Monday evening.
Some 22 cars of the Canadian Pacific Railway train jumped the tracks just before 7 p.m., according to local fire chief Michel Bélanger.
The train was eastbound near a level crossing at de Beaujeu Road when the derailment occurred.
Some of the cars were carrying diesel and propane, but the only one that leaked was carrying vegetable oil. In a statement, CP Rail says that leak is contained, and crews are working to clean it up.
One of the propane tankers is at the bottom of a nearby river, said Saint-Polycarpe Mayor Jean-Yves Poirier.
He said it's lucky nothing caught fire or exploded.
"We can't help but think about Lac-Mégantic when these incidents happen," he said.
"Every day, all sorts of merchandise crosses through the town that then crisscrosses municipalities all over Canada. The country was built on the railway network, so we have to deal with it."
Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux, speaking from the scene Tuesday morning, said it's understandable that people would think back to the events at Lac-Mégantic, especially since the fifth anniversary of the deadly rail disaster was two weeks ago.
"Whenever we have an accident like this one, people are reminded of that horrible tragedy," he said.
CP Rail employees were at the scene of the derailment Tuesday morning assessing the damage to the track.(Radio-Canada)
Investigation underwayThe cause of Monday's derailment is still unknown. In a statement, CP Rail said it is conducting a full investigation into the incident.
A number of CP Rail workers, including its emergency response team, are at the scene evaluating the damage to the track and cleaning up.
An investigator from the Transportation Safety Board is also there, assessing the situation.
Coiteux said he will wait to see what conclusions are drawn from that investigation, and "if there are additional steps that have to be taken to ensure more safety of railway transportation of hazardous material, the right decisions have to be taken."
Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois, Public Safety Minister Martin Coiteux and Saint-Polycarpe Mayor Jean-Yves Poirier met with CP officials at the site of the derailment. (Radio-Canada)
It is unclear what impact the derailment will have on CP service. A spokesperson has not yet returned a request for comment.
A spokesperson for Via Rail said its service is not affected because its trains do not run on CP tracks in that area.
Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois represents Saint-Polycarpe, which lies about 70 kilometres from downtown Montreal.
She was at the site Monday night and again Tuesday morning and says she has briefed Premier Philippe Couillard on the situation and will attend future briefings with CP.
Coiteux said he has been in touch with CP to make sure the cleanup goes smoothly and is reassured that the railway is taking the situation seriously.
The next step is to remove the contents of the derailed cars and cart them away without harming the environment or putting nearby residents at risk.
"[CP has] a commercial interest in restoring this site as soon as possible, but our main concern, our immediate concern, the most important concern is that those things have to be done … with the concern for the security of the people," he said.
This article first appeared on www.cbc.ca
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