Highway reopened after fire at Port Coquitlam, B.C., train yard

Homes and businesses near a Canadian Pacific Railway yard in Port Coquitlam, B.C., were evacuated after a truck and a train car collided Monday night, sparking a large fire.

No injuries from fire caused by collision between train and truck at Canadian Pacific Railway yard

Flames shoot up into the sky after a train collided with a truck hauling ethanol. (Shane MacKichan/Canadian Press)

The Lougheed Highway has reopened after a large fire sparked by a collision between a truck and train car Monday night.

Homes and businesses near a Canadian Pacific Railway yard in Port Coquitlam, B.C., were evacuated after the collision, which happened at 6:35 p.m.

There were no injuries, city staff said in a statement Monday night, and Canadian Pacific says there are no toxic materials on the train.

Port Coquitlam fire Chief Nick Delmonico said the evacuations mostly affected businesses in the area, which were shuttered from Shaughnessy Street to Coast Meridian Road on Lougheed Highway and along part of the Mary Hill Bypass. 

 The city said on Twitter that Lougheed Highway — a major route through the city that divides the north and south sides of town — was closed between Shaughnessy Street and the Oxford Connector. 

The highway re-opened around midnight.

The tanker truck loaded with ethanol burns behind a Canadian Pacific locomotive Monday night. (Shane MacKichan)

While the chief said Monday evening that no homes had been evacuated, a spokesperson for the city later said about 200 people were ordered from their homes. Residents were allowed to return around 10 p.m.

While toxic chemicals were not a concern, Delmonico said, further explosions were.

"There's other cars with other fuels… We do have the diesel tanks on the cars as well that we're concerned for," he said.  "If they decide to go, there's a problem there as well."

Specialized foam trucks were called in from Abbotsford, the chief said. He said the plan is to let the fire burn itself out. 

The city tweeted that the fire was under control by 10 p.m. but crews would continue to keep an eye on it.

Authorities evacuated an area around the train yard near Shaughnessy Street and the Lougheed Highway in Port Coquitlam, B.C. (@belleamanda/Twitter)

Major route closed

According to the city, the fire was sparked when a truck carrying ethanol struck a Canadian Pacific train car.

However, a statement from the railway said it was actually the train that hit the truck at the yard's entrance onto Lougheed Highway.

"CP crews are responding to the incident, working closely with local police and local fire," a spokesperson wrote. "Public and employee safety will be the primary focus as crews continue to respond."

Pictures from the scene on social media showed a sizeable blaze.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story reflected incorrect information given by the City of Port Coquitlam that a CN Rail train was involved. The city later issued a correction that it was in fact a Canadian Pacific train. The city also stated in tweets that a radius of 800 metres around the fire was an evacuation zone. A city spokesperson later said that the term radius was incorrect and it was actually an 800 metre stretch of Lougheed Highway.
    Jan 22, 2018 9:31 PM PT