Crews in Calgary successfully removed six tanker cars that teetered on a broken rail bridge over the swollen Bow River early today.
Workers had earlier removed an oil product from the tankers, which derailed early Thursday morning when part of the bridge buckled as a Canadian Pacific Railway freight was passing over it.
CP confirmed the product — used to dilute raw oilsands bitumen — did not leak into the river.
The cars were stabilized before locomotives positioned on each end of the damaged bridge pulled them safely to each side.
Hunter Harrison, the CEO of CP, had said bridge piers at the bottom of the river failed, and that engineers blamed the failure on fast water scouring away gravel under the support.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi had chastized Canadian Pacific for the derailment, but later said the rail company had apologized for the chaos.
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CP says it inspected the bridge 18 times since the flooding began, but did not send in divers for a closer look because the water was moving too fast.
The six cars were part of a train that derailed early Thursday morning when Calgary's Bonnybrook rail bridge buckled and dropped about half a metre. The cars were at risk of falling into the rapid waters of the Bow until emergency crews tethered them together, leaving them dangling over the water.
Five of the cars contained petroleum diluent, which is used to thin petroleum products, including bitumen from Alberta oilsands, for transporting through a pipeline.