GUERNSEY — As a result of the derailment of a train carrying crude oil, the hamlet of Guernsey has been evacuated.
There were 32 cars that derailed from the Canadian Pacific freight train east of the hamlet at around 6:15 a.m. on Feb. 6. Saskatchewan RCMP said nobody was injured. The RM of Usborne and emergency services went door-to-door to give the evacuation order.
Those evacuees without an alternate place to go were sent to the community hall in Lanigan.
"We have opened up our community hall and we're providing food and drinks for anybody from the hamlet of Guernsey that have been evacuated," said Jennifer Thomas, Lanigan's administrator. "We're just been doing what we can to help out."
Highway 16 is closed in both directions. Heading west, the closed-off portion of the highway begins at the Highway 20 junction. A detour has been set up. RCMP are asking the public to find alternate routes.
Canadian Pacific said they are making initial assessments of the incident.
The federal government has ordered lower speed limits for all trains carrying large amounts of dangerous goods for the next 30 days. The order requires a slowdown of trains that contain 20 or more cars carrying dangerous goods. In metropolitan areas, these trains will be limited to 20 miles per hour. Outside these areas, trains will be limited to 25 miles per hour.
Canadian Pacific said they had already implemented a slow order on its crude trains as a precautionary measure immediately after the derailment.
“CP fully supports this action and it has been implemented effective immediately,” said Keith Creel, the railway's president, in a release. “Until we better understand the facts relating to today’s incident, it is prudent to operate with an abundance of caution."
(Video by Philippe Gaudet)
The Transportation Safety Board announced that it was sending its own team of investigators to the site.
Canadian Pacific said they will work closely with the adjacent landowners to clean up and restore the area.
Two months ago, in early December, a freight train carrying crude oil derailed west of Guernsey.