Fiery Canadian Pacific derailment prompts evacuation, highway closure

A Canadian Pacific (NYSE: CP) trail derailed early Thursday morning in Saskatchewan in a fiery wreck that forced the evacuation of a nearby village and the closure of a portion of Highway 16, a key trucking route in Western Canada.

The accident occurred about 6:15 a.m. CST east of Guernsey, CP said in a statement. The railway is making initial assessments as emergency responders tend to the wreck.

No one was injured in the derailment, but authorities are evacuating residents of Guernsey because of smoke from the wreckage, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Capt. Rob King told FreightWaves.

CP had no immediate information about what the train was hauling. A photo from a witness appears to show several tanker cars fully engulfed in flames.

The RCMP closed a small stretch of Highway 16 southeast of Saskatoon near the junction with Highway 20. The five-mile diversion should add about 15 to 20 minutes for truckers, King said.

“We’ll open the road as soon as we can,” he said. 

Saskatchewan Highway 16 serves as a key freight route in Western Canada, linking with Edmonton and Winnipeg as part of the Trans-Canada Highway’s Yellowhead branch.

The accident came less than two months after a CP train hauling crude derailed — also near Guernsey.

A recent CBC documentary also raised questions about CP’s handling of the investigation into a fatal accident in February 2019. CP criticized the CBC’s reporting, calling elements of it misleading.