On Saturday, a Canadian Pacific freight train derailed and caught fire in Maine, leading to minor injuries to three railway workers. The derailment occurred when three locomotive engines and six rail cars carrying lumber and electrical wiring derailed into a nearby wooded area, causing a small forest fire, according to the Maine Forest Department. The department further reported that the hazardous materials carried in additional rail cars were not affected, and the risk of leakage and fire was minimal.
The cause of the derailment, as confirmed by Canadian Pacific, was a “track washout,” which may have been due to melting ice and debris. The incident occurred around 15 miles east of Jackman, and Doniele Carlson, the Director of Communications for Canadian Pacific Kansas City, assured that the hazardous cargo was not involved in the fire.
Emergency response teams and hazardous materials experts are currently conducting a full assessment of the situation, as stated in Carlson’s statement. However, there is no threat to public safety, and no evacuations are necessary. The Rockwood Fire and Rescue Department posted a photo of the derailment on its Facebook page, urging residents to stay clear of the area.
This derailment is the third such incident this week, following similar accidents in Pittsburgh and Alabama. In Jasper, Alabama, 11 cars on a North Atlantic Southern train derailed earlier this week, causing two crew members to be hospitalized.
The recent string of fiery accidents involving hazardous chemicals in Ohio and Minnesota has prompted federal regulators and members of Congress to urge railroads to take further measures to prevent such incidents.
The small village of Rockwood, located on the western side of Moosehead Lake, which is famous for salmon and trout fishing, is around 90 miles northwest of Bangor and has around 300 residents. The Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern merger, announced on Friday, touts their rail line as the first and only single-line railway connecting Canada, the U.S., and Mexico.