Train derailment forces evacuation of Canadian town of 300

Vancouver, August 3

The derailment of a Canadian Pacific Railway train in the province of Alberta has forced the evacuation of a town of about 300 people and closed part of the Trans-Canada highway.

The Alberta government issued an emergency alert on Friday for people living within 6.5 kilometres of the hamlet of Irvine, which is about 362 miles from the capital of Edmonton.

The alert said the derailment involved “chemical exposure”, but did not give additional details.

Police say between 12 and 15 rail cars jumped the track and some may contain flammable material.

In July 2013, 47 people died in the town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, when an unmanned 74-car freight train carrying crude oil rolled downhill and derailed in the dead of night. AP