Officials say no injuries or fatalities have been reported from Thursday morning’s train derailment just east of the community of Guernsey, Saskatchewan.
Marlo Pritchard, president of the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency, confirmed the news at a media conference Thursday afternoon in Regina.
Guernsey had 85 of its residents evacuate to Lanigan after the village declared a state of emergency due to the fire and crude oil spill from the derailed cars.
Pritchard said residents could be evacuated from the area for a while.
“The emergency declaration can be in effect for up to seven days before it needs to be extended if required. But that will depend on the situation,” he stated.
“Right now, the focus is on fire suppression. If the smoke situation changes, I’m sure the residents will be allowed to go home.”
Pritchard mentioned the train was pulling around 104 cars; reports say 31 derailed and around 12 remained on fire early in the afternoon.
Responding to the derailment, Transportation Minister Marc Garneau announced a decision has been made regarding speed restrictions for trains carrying dangerous goods following the accident.
Garneau said the resolution will be in effect at midnight on Friday. The ministerial order will demand trains with 20 or more cars carrying dangerous goods to reduce speeds at no more than 40 kilometres per hour.
The order will remain active for the next 30 days.
Back in December 2019, a similar derailment occurred approximately five kilometres away from the latest accident. There were 33 tanker cars and one hopper car that derailed from the tracks.