MACOUN - CP Rail has released an update regarding a train derailment and fire that occurred northwest of Macoun Thursday.
Andy Cummings, the manager of media relations for CP Rail, said Thursday night that a freight train derailed near Macoun just before 10 a.m. Thursday. There were no injuries.
“CP immediately mobilized emergency crews to respond to the incident and CP’s hazardous materials experts now are on site co-ordinating with local emergency responders,” Cummings said.
The fire at the scene remains active, he said, and was still burning on Friday.
The Transportation Safety Board has deployed investigators to the scene and the cause of the incident remains under investigation.
Emergency crews remain at the scene.
Two cars carrying liquefied petroleum gas were involved in the derailment, Cummings said.
Photos supplied from the scene show a number of rail cars have left the track. A fire has also occurred with some of the rail cars.
Highway 39 is currently closed near Macoun and entrances into Macoun are blocked. A report from the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure's Highway Hotline asks motorists to find an alternate route due to the fire. There is zero visibility in the area due to the smoke.
The Highway Hotline called it "a dangerous scene".
Aaron Toles, the emergency management officer with the RM of Cymri, said the Village of Macoun and the RM of Cymri have both declared states of emergency. Also, those who reside with 2,200 metres of the train fire have been evacuated. Those from the RM have been advised that the Harry O Memorial Arena in Midale is open and available to them, while those who were evactuated in Macoun can go to the William Snider Memorial Park Recreation Centre.
"If you need to be evacuated, you should have been contacted by either the Village of Macoun or the RM of Cymri," said Toles.
Those who fall outside of the 2,200-metre zone would not need to be contacted by the RM or the village.
They are currently waiting for CP Rail's hazardous materials team to assess the situation before the process of extinguishing the fire begins. Midale-Cymri Fire and Rescue and First Responders are at the scene, along with members of the Estevan Fire Rescue Service through a mutual aid call.
Estevan Deputy Fire Chief Kyle Luc, speaking at 6;30 p.m. Thursday night, said hazardous materials were still actively burning. Several agencies were at the scene to mitigate the situation.
"Everyone's as good as we can be for the situation at hand," said Luc.
It's not known how long it will be before people are allowed to return to their homes.
Luc reiterated requests to avoid the area, and if people do have to use the detours in place, to be mindful of those on the roads because motorists will be rerouted onto grid roads that aren't as wide.
Luc said it's anticipated that Highway 39 will be closed for 24-36 hours.
SASKTODAY.ca will have more details as they become available.
Thanks to Amber Mantei for submitting the video below.