January 8

Train carrying propane and crude oil derails near Maine-Canadian border

The derailment occurs in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick, about 40 miles east of Caribou, Maine.

The Associated Press

PLASTER ROCK, New Brunswick — A freight train carrying crude oil and propane derailed and caught fire in a sparsely populated region of New Brunswick about 10-15 miles east of the Maine border late Tuesday, leading to the evacuation of about two dozen nearby homes, authorities said.

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Fire burns on the horizon at the scene of a train derailment near Plaster Rock, New Brunswick, on Wednesday. The derailment and fire led to the evacuation of about two dozen nearby homes, authorities said.

The Associated Press

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Sharon DeWitt, emergency measures coordinator for the nearby community of Plaster Rock, said it’s unclear how big the fire is or whether anyone was hurt.

“To the best of our knowledge, only a few cars are involved and we are not exactly sure what those cars are carrying,” she said in an interview.

A spokeswoman for Ambulance New Brunswick said no casualties were transported from the site.

Canadian National Railway spokesman Jim Feeny confirmed the eastbound train was carrying dangerous goods, including crude oil and propane.

“Some of those cars are in the area of the derailment,” he said. “Whether they have derailed or are on fire, I do not have confirmation of that.”

Feeny said the freight train was headed to Moncton from Central Canada when it ran into trouble around 7 p.m. about 40 miles east of Caribou, Maine.

The train’s engineer and conductor, the only people on the train, were not hurt, he said.

There were unconfirmed reports of an explosion, but DeWitt said she was not aware on any blast at the site.

In July, 47 people were killed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, when a train carrying crude oil derailed. Another oil train from North Dakota derailed and exploded in Alabama in November, causing no deaths but releasing an estimated 749,000 gallons of oil from 26 tanker cars.

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