A CN Rail train has derailed off a rail bridge in Hope, causing approximately 20 cars loaded with potash to crash.
CN crews are on the scene of the incident which happened earlier this morning, Sept. 14, according to the company. The rail derailment is along a rail bridge adjacent to Highway 1 east of the Hunter Creek Road exit, a rail bridge which crosses a creek that feeds into the Fraser River.
“Preliminary information indicates that approximately 20 cars derailed. There are no injuries, fires, or dangerous goods reported to be involved at this time,” CN Rail said.
CN added that a team of environmental experts, as well third-party contractors have been dispatched to the crash site due to several of the cars crashing into an adjacent body of water.
The Hope Standard witnessed a hazardous materials (haz mat) team on the scene, as well as CN Rail police and crews from Emil Anderson Construction and heavy machinery.
At the site of the crash, the pink coloured potash could be seen spilling from the train wreckage down onto the banks of the creek below. Potash, the common name for a group of minerals and chemicals containing potassium, is used primarily in the production of fertilizer. Canada has the world’s second largest reserves of potash, and is also the world’s largest producer and exporter of potash according to Natural Resources Canada.
“CN would like to apologize for the inconvenience caused by this incident and thanks the first responders present at the scene. The cause of the incident is under investigation,” the rail company stated.
One driver who witnessed the wreck said emergency vehicles were just starting to show up at around 6 a.m.
– with files from Emelie Peacock