UPDATED: Train Carrying Crude Oil Derails Near Mattagami First Nation (Video)

By Black Powder | Red Power Media

A Canadian National Railway (CN) train carrying crude oil has derailed near Mattagami First Nation in Northern Ontario.

Ontario Provincial Police and the Fire Department from the town of Gogama, were called to the scene at approximately 2:45 a.m., Saturday.

The Transportation Safety Board said 30 to 40 cars derailed, and there were no initial reports of injuries.

The cause of the derailment is still under investigation and the Ministry of Environment has been notified.

Several cars have caught fire, and others entered the Mattagami river system, prompting officials to advise members of the Mattagami First Nation, not to consume water from the community source for the time being.

Residents from the town of Gogama and Mattagami First Nation are being asked to stay inside until further notice due to possible smoke inhalation.

mattagami-first-nation-highway-sign

Chief Walter Naveau from Mattagami First Nation says he is concerned for the welfare of his community.

Naveau met with CN representatives and spoke to Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer this morning.

“They’re (CN) saying it’s OK and yet why are some of my band members feeling it in their chests and tasting it in their mouths?” said Naveau in a telephone interview.

This is the second derailment to occur in the same area in less than a month. More than a million litres was spilled when another CN train carrying crude derailed.

Naveau said this morning’s derailment, about four kilometres northwest of Gogama, is closer to Mattagami.

“I’m very angry at CN right now to put it mildly,” said Naveau.

He said Mattagami officials have been meeting this morning to determine whether the community should be evacuated.

He said he understands that the smoke from the fire was being blown away from the community this morning.

“If the wind should change just a few degrees it will affect Mattagami,” he said.

Naveau said he is also concerned about the possible lasting effects of the derailment.

“The water is coming our way and that’s going to harm our fish habitat and tourist habitat,” said Naveau.

He said he hopes emergency crews are able to contain whatever oil may have spilled into the river.

“Eventually it’s going to come to Timmins. That’s what’s going to happen,” he said.

CN Train derailment 144 Gogama. Photo: Facebook

CN Train derailment 144 Gogama. Photo: Facebook

Derailment not far from Gogama Inn

Roxanne Veronneau said the site of the derailment is approximately two kilometres from her Inn.

“I look out my window here at the Inn and all I see is the smoke in the distance. I could see it at four o’clock in the morning. It makes you feel rather uncomfortable knowing that wow, hopefully there is not going to be a next time and that our town will be safe. But when you see like, 100 cars, I don’t know, 70 cars of crude oil coming right down the middle of your town, the thought crosses your mind when you see what’s happened in Quebec.” 

11027926_10152681414802644_1593656581910222983_n

Local MPP heads to site

NDP MPP for the region France Gélinas said she was travelling to the site after speaking to members of the local services board and residents of Gogama.

“They are courageous and scared,” said Gélinas. “This is the second derailment near their town and this one is very close. People can take pictures of the black smoke from their homes.”

Natalie Gaudette with the local services board said there is no immediate danger to residents and CN officials are on site doing air quality tests.

Photo: Facebook

Photo: Facebook

Highway 144 at Highway 661 at the Watershed is closed, as is Highway 101 at Highway 144.

There is access to communities north of Gogama by way of the Cache.

Capture

Update:

There are no indications the drinking water supply near Gogama and the nearby Mattagami First Nation were affected by a train derailment Saturday that involved more than 30 crude oil cars, CN said on Twitter.

But the Sudbury and District Health Unit said in a press release that crude oil leaked into an adjacent waterway.

“As a precaution, the Sudbury & District Health Unit is advising that those who take their drinking water directly from Minisinakwa Lake, or from wells supplied by the river, not use that water for drinking or cooking until further notice,” the health unit said in the press release.

Residents obtaining their water from the Gogama Water System are not affected.

CN CEO Jim Vena said he apologizes to the near Gogama and Mattagami for “disruptions caused by second derailment in such a short time.”

A CN train derailment near Gogama Saturday morning leaked crude oil in an adjacent waterway, says the Sudbury and District Health Unit. Supplied photo.

A CN train derailment near Gogama Saturday morning leaked crude oil in an adjacent waterway, says the Sudbury and District Health Unit. Supplied photo.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Update:

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Harvey Yesno has called for a coordinated response from Canadian National Railway and the federal and provincial governments following the second major train derailment near Mattagami First Nation in three weeks that has threatened the air and water quality of the community.

“The chief and council of Mattagami First Nation were already struggling to deal with the impacts of the first derailment and now they are faced with what appears to be an even more devastating incident,” said Yesno in a press release.

Fire still burns at Gogama derailment site (photo, update)

600x800xOPP-GogamaSunday.jpg.pagespeed.ic.DcoNHGAmT9

Mattagami First Nation community members update:

The air quality advisory is still to remain indoors for the safety of those who have concerns with respiratory illnesses.

We presently have retained our own Environmental Specialist consulting on behalf of the First Nation with Health Canada. At present there is still a fire a burning.

Representatives from the First Nations are attending Command Centre briefing/updates on regular scheduled basis.

Again a reminder that we are working towards having representatives come down to do an update to members – please stay tuned for that announcement.

To reiterate – Drinking Water is safe and there are no concerns with the Mattagami Water Plants being affected should any substances eventually come towards our community – whether through the lake or aquifers/well.

Health Canada has advised to refrain from eating any fish pulled from the lake until further notice (which could be several days.)

Thank you for your patience during this time.

First images. Photo: Glenn Thibeault. Facebook

Update: Chief Isadore Day – Serpent River First Nation

(This is the fourth CN Rail derailment in northern Ontario this year.)

Follow this post throughout the day for updates on the situation.

 

1 thought on “UPDATED: Train Carrying Crude Oil Derails Near Mattagami First Nation (Video)

Comments are closed.