Oil spill estimate in Saskatchewan derailment increases to 1.6 million litres

GUERNSEY, Sask. — An estimate of oil spilled in a fiery train derailment in rural Saskatchewan has increased to 1.6 million litres.

Saskatchewan's Ministry of Environment said Thursday that new figures from Canadian Pacific show the spill was more than the 1.2 million of litres initially calculated.

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The ministry said a significant amount of crude was burned off during the fire, and CP estimates 1.2 million litres of oil has so far been recovered.

The freight train jumped the tracks on Feb. 6 near Guernsey, about 115 kilometres southeast of Saskatoon.

It was the second train to go off the same stretch of tracks since December, when a derailment caused a fire and spilled 1.5 million litres of oil.

After the latest derailment, the federal government ordered lower speed limits for trains carrying large amounts of dangerous goods.

Both derailment's are under investigation by the Transportation Safety Board. A preliminary report said the trains were handled according to regulatory requirements and no mechanical defects were found.

The agency said it would examine the track infrastructure and as well as take a closer look at the tank cars involved.

CP said it's working with the government on a remediation plan and crews are still on site to ensure equipment is removed and the area is restored.

The government said results are pending from an assessment of the latest derailment site to see if any groundwater was impacted. It expects remediation work to take several months.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 20, 2020

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