Cleanup continues after derailment in U.S.-Canada rail tunnel

Sulfuric acid spills in leak from one car; NTSB, TSB of Canada investigating
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PORT HURON, Mich. — Cleanup continues after a Friday derailment in the St. Clair River tunnel connecting the U.S. and Canada, which resulted in a spill of more than 13,000 gallons of sulfuric acid.

The Port Huron Times Herald reported Saturday afternoon crews were preparing to pump out the spilled acid after removing other cars to gain access. More than 40 cars of a Canadian National train were reported to have derailed in the tunnel connecting Port Huron to Sarnia, Ontario, early Friday morning. [See “CN experiences derailment in St. Clair River tunnel,” Trains News Wire, June 28, 2019.] Police and fire crews from both sides of the border responded and have remained on the scene.

Crews have been working from both ends of the tunnel to clear the derailment. Larry Lloyd, CN government and public affairs manager, told the Times Herald in an email that “an investigation is underway into the cause of the derailment.”

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said in a press release that it and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board have dispatched teams of investigators. If the point of the derailment is determined to be in Canada, the TSB will become the lead agency in the investigation; if it is the U.S., the NTSB will take the primary role.

The Sarnia Observer reported 46 cars derailed and quoted Mike Otis of Sarnia Fire Rescue as saying “there’s no off-site impact or public hazard” from the acid spill.

No estimate has been given for reopening the route. The tunnel, more than a mile long, opened in 1995 to replace a structure completed in 1891.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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