A Canadian National Railway Company (CN) freight train carrying hazardous materials derailed on Tuesday, causing over 20 railcars to catch on fire, according to the Associated Press. The train was made up of three locomotives hauling 100 railcars, two of which were carrying petroleum distillates, which ultimately caused the massive fire and billows of thick, black smoke.
No members of the crew were injured due to the derailment. However, about 50 residents of the nearby town of Clair, Saskatchewan were forced to evacuate.
According to CN spokesman Jim Feeny, 60 of the railcars were empty and 40 were carrying goods, including six carrying dangerous goods. The train had been bound for Saskatoon, Saskatchewan from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Eyewitnesses say that the flames caused from the derailment had reached heights of 100 feet in the air. Provincial officials say that hazardous materials crews are en route to the scene to investigate.
This derailment comes just over a year after two other major derailments, one in North Dakota, and the other in Quebec, Canada. In July of 2013, a runaway oil train exploded in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic just across the U.S.-Canada border, killing 47 people. That train was carrying oil from Bakken crude. Shortly after that, another train derailed in the small town of Casselton, North Dakota on December 30th, causing 400,000 gallons of crude to spill and catch on fire. No one was injured in that derailment.