Residents of the community of Guernsey, Saskatchewan have been evacuated following a nearby freight train derailment that sent flames shooting into the sky.
According to Canadian Pacific Railway, the train jumped the tracks around 6:15am near Guernesey, approximately 115 kilometers southeast of Saskatoon.
Jack Gibney, reeve of the Rural Municipality of Usborne, which includes Guernsey, reported that 85 residents had been evacuated following the derailment.
There are no immediate reports of injuries.
Patty Prentice came across the derailment on her drive to work, initially thinking that she had spotted a small fire.
“The flames just got bigger and bigger and I could feel the heat when I drove by,” she said.
Prentice called relatives who live in the area and heard that they had been told to evacuate.
“They knocked on doors, told them … to meet at the community centre if they wanted to know more information.”
A portion of major route Highway 16, also known as the Yellowhead, remains closed in both directions as a result of the incident, as if the Highway 20 junction.
Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau tweeted that he was “seized with this morning’s rail incident,” later reporting that they were “gathering facts and … following this very closely.”
A team of investigators from the Transportation Safety Board have been sent to the site.
Saskatchewan’s Public Safety Agency reports that 31 of the 104 cars had derailed and approximately one dozen had caught fire.
This is the second major incident in the area in just as many months. In December, 19 cars of a CP train derailed in the same location, causing a large fire and leaking 1.5 million litres of oil.
img src: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/sask-train-derailment-1.5453942
Photo submitted to CBC News by Philippe Gaudet