Excavators work at the site of a train derailment ten-kilometres south of St. Lazare, Man. on Saturday February 16, 2019. (Michael Bell/The Canadian Press)

‘Shut me out’: Canadian rancher says CN mum about oil spill on his land

The Manitoba government has said 37 cars were involved in the derailment

A Manitoba rancher said he’s being shut out by CN after a derailment spilled oil on an oxbow of the Assiniboine River he uses to water his cattle in summer.

“Somebody from CN should have been in my yard within hours of that derailment and I should be getting updates twice a day,” said Jayme Corr, who owns the land on which the spill happened Saturday.

“This is ridiculous. CN has basically shut me out.”

The Manitoba government has said 37 cars were involved in the derailment. No information has been given about how many of those cars were leaking or how much oil was released.

A government spokesman said Monday there was no danger of the oil entering the nearby Assiniboine River.

But Corr, who has 250 cattle on almost 1,000 of land, said that depends on the clean-up. He said the spill occurred on an oxbow of the river which still holds water.

“There’s oil sitting on top of the ice,” he said. ”They’ve got to get it scraped off there.

“As soon as it runs off, (the river) is where this is going to end up.”

He said he uses that oxbow to water his cattle in the summer.

Corr, whose home is about a kilometre from the spill site, said he was told when the spill occurred that he may have to evacuate.

Since then, he said, he’s received one phone call from a CN spokesman. A meeting was scheduled for later Monday.

A firefighter told him over the weekend that it looked as if seven rail cars had split open.

“There’s a lot of oil on that oxbow,” he said — enough for him to catch the smell from his own yard.

READ MORE: B.C. train that derailed and killed three ‘just started moving on its own’

Cleanup crews from CN and investigators from the Transportation Safety Board are at the spill site.

CN was expected to release more information about the spill later Monday.

The Canadian Press


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