The clean-up continues west of Swift Current following a train derailment Tuesday night.
Twelve of the 152 cars carrying potash, a non-dangerous substance, were impacted.
Five of those cars remained upright, while seven were lying sideways and the locomotive was leaning to one side and leaking diesel fuel.
Fortunately, there were no injuries and no fire from the derailment.
Swift Current Rural Fire Department Chief Louis Cherpin confirmed they received a call at 6 p.m. of the derailment eight kilometres west of the city – near the Highway 32 overpass above Highway 1.
It isn’t clear what caused the derailment although Cherpin said it happened at a switch in the track.
“It was quite busy for a while,” said Cherpin. “We had our full department here with all hands on board. Lots of RCMP, lots of CP people on hand giving us a hand trying to come up with a plan to clean it up.”
A little over three hours from receiving the call, Cherpin estimated about 100 gallons of fuel had leaked of the train’s 4,500 gallons.
“We’ve stopped quite a bit. We are sucking it out of their tanks and putting it into some slip tanks to eliminate that. As for the potash, there is some on the side with the lids open. Not much on the ground right now, it’s going to take some time to clean it up, but there isn’t that much. But when they move everything off it’s going to spill it all.”
From what he’s been told, Cherpin said it looks like it’ll take two days to have things cleaned up.
The Government of Saskatchewan has implemented the Incident Command System and Emergency Response Assistance Plan and is working with CP, first responders and Transport Canada.
It appears the diesel fuel is all on CP’s right-of-way at this time, which means CP is responsible for the cleanup.
– With files from Swift Current Online.