CN Rail train carrying petroleum derails in Alberta


TORONTO (Reuters) - A train carrying crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas derailed west of Edmonton, Alberta, causing a fire, but no injuries, Canadian National Railway said on Saturday.

Local residents were evacuated in Gainford, Alberta, which is located some 85 km (53 miles) from the provincial capital of Edmonton, after the accident, which highlights concerns about moving oil by rail. The little community has a population of just over 100.

Rail safety has become a central issue in North America, particularly following the devastating derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in July, when a runaway train carrying crude products exploded in the centre of the town and killed 47 people.

CN Rail said initial indications are that 13 cars had derailed in the accident, which happened at around 1 a.m., and three of the four cars carrying liquefied petroleum gas are involved in the fire. Nine derailed crude oil cars are intact, with no indications of any leaks.

There were no injuries, but residents have been evacuated by local authorities, CN spokesman Louis-Antoine Paquin said in an email.

Canada's Transportation Safety Board said it has sent a team of investigators to the site.

This is the third CN accident in recent weeks. Earlier this week, a CN train carrying anhydrous ammonia derailed in Sexsmith, Alberta.

A CN freight train derailed near the town of Landis, in the western Canadian province of Saskatchewan, on Sept 25, sending 17 cars off the track, one of which leaked lube oil.

On Thursday, the Canadian government imposed new regulations requiring tests to be conducted on crude oil before transporting or importing it into Canada. In the Lac-Megantic crash, inspectors determined that the oil the train carried was more explosive than labeled.

(Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Janet Guttsman and Eric Beech)