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Canadian crude and LPG train derailment near Edmonton causes explosion and fire

24 October 2013

Bloomberg reported on October 21 that a Canadian National Railway train carrying crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas derailed about 90 km west of Edmonton causing an explosion and fire.Thirteen cars derailed and one car containing LPG or propane exploded and set two other leaking cars on fire. There were no reported casualties.

Emergency responders evacuated 49 residents of the rural community of Gainford and the county declared a state of emergency for the area, after officials were notified of the derailment.

Rail transport of crude is under heightened regulatory scrutiny in Canada and the US after a train carrying oil derailed and exploded in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in July, killing 47. Companies face new rules that may raise costs, including a Canadian directive that requires testing and labeling of crude in rail cars.

The train was travelling westbound and carrying mixed freight in 134 cars, but the only ones to catch fire were the three that leaked, Chandler said. Among the derailed cars, nine contained LPG, a light hydrocarbon, and four contained oil. Canada’s Transportation Safety Board has sent investigators to the site.

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