Collapsing bridge in Canada derails train

2013-06-28 08:09
Crews work at the scene of a rail bridge collapse and railcars derailment over the Bow River, southeast of downtown Calgary. (AP)

Crews work at the scene of a rail bridge collapse and railcars derailment over the Bow River, southeast of downtown Calgary. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Calgary - A train has derailed on a collapsing Canada bridge near Calgary, threatening to send five rail cars carrying a diesel-like substance into a river, officials said on Thursday.

Efforts were under way to keep the cars from falling off the slowly sagging bridge and then pump out the yet-unspecified but potentially flammable liquid. No injuries were reported.

"It appears that the bridge is failing," said emergency management director Bruce Burrell. The train derailed after a section of the bridge dropped 60cm on Thursday morning.

Each car could have 36 000kg of flammable product, said acting Fire Chief Ken Uzeloc. He could not specify the liquid. A sixth car on the bridge is an empty oil tanker, he said.

Canadian Pacific spokesperson Ed Greenberg said the bridge gave way after most of the eastbound train had crossed.

"The [derailed cars] are all upright," he said. "There are no leaks reported and no injuries reported as a result of the incident."

The bridge, southeast of downtown Calgary, typically sits about 7.6m above water level, though water levels remain high after last week's flooding.

Booms deployed

Emergency crews were working to string a cable through the railcars to secure it to bulldozers on land to prevent the cars from being carried down the river in case the bridge gives way.

Uzeloc said crews then hope to pull another train along a parallel bridge so the cargo can be pumped off and the empty cars can be removed with a crane.

"The last thing we want is these cars floating down the river and causing problems downstream," Uzeloc said.

Booms were being deployed down river in case of any spills.

Canadian Pacific said the bridge was inspected by a qualified inspector on Saturday and the track was inspected on Monday.

Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi questioned the timing of the last bridge inspection when water on the river was still at record levels.

Nenshi said he knows a lot of railway employees have been laid off, and he was angry that it took him six hours to reach Canadian Pacific officials on Thursday.

"How many bridge inspectors did they fire?" the mayor asked.

Officials said it was too early to say whether the structural failure was specifically due to flooding.

Read more on:    canada

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.