Minor injuries in passenger train derailment along Manitoba-Saskatchewan border

Two people were injured when a Via Rail train travelling from Winnipeg derailed early this morning along the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border.

American passenger thanks emergency workers, says 'Canadians are simply the best'

Rescue workers help passengers off of a Via Rail train that derailed north of Hudson Bay, Sask. Thursday. (Debi Shearwater/Submitted)

All passengers and crew have been released from hospital after a Via Rail train travelling from Winnipeg derailed early Thursday morning along the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border.

Sixteen passengers and five crew members were on the train when it derailed 37 kilometres north of Hudson Bay, Sask., at 3:05 a.m. CT. The train was on its way to The Pas, Man.

The two crew members sustained minor injuries, and no passengers were hurt, according to a preliminary report from Via Rail. 

RCMP, along with local fire, ambulance and CN employees, were dispatched to a train derailment 37 kilometres north of Hudson Bay, Sask. (Submitted by RCMP)

All passengers were taken to the Hudson Bay Health Care Facility. They were cleared by the hospital in the late morning and were to be taken to Winnipeg until new transportation arrangements are made.

The rail company said the train consisted of eight cars. Two locomotives and one baggage car derailed on their side, while the cars with the passengers inside remained upright. 

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said two locomotives and a baggage car ran off the tracks.

Track was washed out

The train was going 53 km/h when it reached an area of the track, near Otosquen, Sask., that was washed out, according to TSB spokesperson Alexandre Fournier.

According to Environment Canada, the Hudson Bay, Sask., area received 52 millimetres of rain between Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon. 

Fournier said the derailment happened in a remote area with no access road. TSB is sending an investigator from Winnipeg.

The train was going 53 km/h when it reached an area of the track that was washed out, according to a TSB spokesperson. (Debi Shearwater/Submitted)

"The roads may be under water, that's what's been reported to us," Fournier said. "It's a difficult location to access right now."

Via Rail said emergency crews attended the scene along the CN Turnberry line, and an evacuation was underway.

'So very, very grateful'

Debi Shearwater, who is travelling to Churchill from her home in the U.S., was one of 21 passengers on the train when it derailed.

After being rescued from the train and taken to hospital in Hudson Bay, Shearwater and the other passengers were brought to a Winnipeg hotel to stay the night Thursday. She was to fly to Churchill Friday, she told CBC News.

Shearwater took to Facebook to thank everyone involved in helping to rescue passengers.

"The support, comfort, & care we have received has been overwhelming, truly," she wrote.

"I am so very, very grateful. Canadians are simply THE BEST!"

Via Rail has suspended service between Winnipeg and Gillam in Manitoba until further notice.

Family members can call the Via Rail hot line at 1-877-747-0707 for more information.

The accident is under investigation.

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About the Author

Ian Froese

Reporter

Ian Froese is a reporter at CBC Manitoba. He previously wrote about rural Manitoba for the Brandon Sun and the Carillon in Steinbach. Story idea? Email ian.froese@cbc.ca.

With files from Meaghan Ketcheson, Heather Wells and The Canadian Press