Update to CN Rail Accident: Freed Requests Transparency

Port Huron City Manager James Freed reported on Friday that his office received news of a train derailment within the international train tunnel. CN crews responded to the incident where approximately 30 cars were derailed in various positions, and at least one car was carrying dangerous goods.  After further investigation by EBW.TV, officials confirmed 40+ cars were involved, and a car carrying sulfuric acid spilled some of its cargo. CN deployed its team of dangerous goods experts and third-party contractors to assist in the clean-up efforts. It’s an ongoing process, and city officials tell us that there is no danger to the public, air quality, or waterways.

City officials advised residents to avoid the area while officials in Sarnia and Port Huron worked together to mitigate any further damage. Homeland Security, Emergency Management, and regional stakeholders were briefed.  The Port Huron Fire Department was in command on the U.S. side of the tunnel and collaborated with CN and the municipalities of Sarnia and St. Clair Counties. The cause of the derailment is still under investigation. No injuries were reported.

UPDATE:  7/1/2019 1:47 p.m.

City Manager James Freed expressed confidence in the response by CN Railway and Unified Command to the train derailment incident on Friday, June 28, 2019. “CN, PHFD and all the stakeholders have done a tremendous job responding to this incident and ensuring public safety was protected. I applaud their efforts and remarkable abilities to tackle such a large challenge in a collaborative and coordinated effort. Public Health and Safety was never at risk because of their work.” 

However, City Manager Freed believes more transparency is needed from CN, the EPA and Unified Command on the processes for cleanup efforts. “We have a lot of local residents who are literally watching this unfold in their backyards. They deserve to know what exactly is taking place. I have been asking for a press conference for three days so that local media can ask questions and get a clearer picture of what is going on. This has not happened.” 

“I encourage CN and the EPA to stand before the press and take questions, as they serve the residents of this community,” voiced Freed.