TEMAGAMI, Ontario: Cleanup crews remove acid from derailed train

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Mar 19, 22:20 est

TEMAGAMI, Ontario: Cleanup crews remove acid from derailed train

TEMAGAMI, Ont. (CP) - Cleanup crews worked around the clock over the weekend to remove sulphuric acid from a train that derailed last week.

The workers managed to transfer the corrosive chemical from at least four tanker cars by Sunday.

About 45,000 litres of acid leaked from a dozen rail cars last Tuesday after they left the tracks and toppled down an embankment.

''Things are really moving forward,'' said Judy Cardoni, public affairs manager for the Ontario Northland Railway.

''All the things we have been planning have been initiated.''

Emergency response teams from Noranda and Falconbridge - the shippers of the acid - continued to pump and transfer the syrup-like chemical to rail cars Sunday.

The crews were able to bring new tankers close enough to the wreckage to empty acid from some of the derailed cars, said Cordoni.

But to continue with the transfer, she said, some cars will have to be rerouted and others may have to be cleared from the track.

Cardoni added that construction of an access road to the site - roughly 90 kilometres north of North Bay - is now complete and an estimated 300-metre section of track has been rebuilt.

Workers were also setting up a series of limestone dikes to filter the acid and neutralize the pH levels of the water flowing into Rabbit Creek.

The creek flows from Hornet Lake to the southwest Bay of Rabbit Lake, a popular lake trout and walleye fishery. Cardoni said the cause of the derailment is still undetermined.

The Transportation Safety Board was on site conducting its own independent investigation


-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), March 20, 2000

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