VANCOUVER — The Transportation Safety Board says seven rail cars that derailed in northern British Columbia last Thursday were filled with liquefied petroleum gas.
Board spokesman Alexandre Fournier says in an email that seven of the 28 derailed cars contained the gas, which is classified by the federal government as a flammable and dangerous commodity.
Fournier and Canadian National Railway say one car was carrying methanol and the other 20 cars were loaded with petroleum coke when they derailed in Giscome, B.C.
Jonathan Abecassis of CN Rail says less than a carload of petroleum coke spilled into an adjacent creek.
He says there was no danger to the public and no fire or injuries.
The local school district says Giscome Elementary was evacuated after the derailment due to uncertainty about the contents of the rail cars.
The school, which is 200 metres from the rail line, remains closed and classes have been moved to a nearby elementary school.
Abecassis says petroleum coke is a non-hazardous byproduct of the refining process. All of the petroleum coke that spilled has been secured, he adds, and silt curtains and skirted booms were used after the derailment.
Fournier says the car carrying methanol derailed but remained upright.
The B.C. government's environmental incident website says the transfer of liquid petroleum gas from the toppled rail cars began Sunday and is expected to last several days.
Trains are moving past the derailment site and environmental water quality monitoring in the nearby waterway is continuing, it says.
Fournier says the derailment is still being assessed by the Transportation Safety Board, which sent a team to the site.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2020.
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