St-Henri residents concerned after train derailment
St-Henri residents call for tougher legislation and more transparency from rail companies
Residents living in St-Henri are upset and worried after a train derailment over the weekend sent two locomotives and two grain cars off the tracks -- spilling 3,500 litres of diesel fuel not far from their homes.
As CN crews continued the clean-up Monday evening, officials said the damage was minimal.
But neighbours like Véronique Fournier are worried.
“This accident doesn't have major consequences, but what if? And this is a concern that citizens have today, and that I do have as a citizen,” said Fournier, adding that there are houses, apartment buildings and a school right beside the track.
Dozens of trains pass on the tracks every day.
Fournier, a former city councillor who lives a few houses away from the site of the derailment, says she’s been lobbying for more information about what the trains are carrying.
“We see the train but we don't know what's on the train, and what will happen if there is a major accident in our neighbourhood?” she said.
Sud-Ouest borough mayor BenoitDorais says CN took too long to notify him about the incident.
“As usual, the CN was not very transparent with all the information, so I had to verify with many people to collect all the information. So that's not a proper way to be informed as mayor of a borough,” Dorais said.
The company says it contacted emergency officials immediately.
“We were collaborating on the site right away with experts from Urgence-Environnement for the clean-up, so I think our communications efforts were efficient,” said CN spokesman Louis-Antoine Paquin.
As the clean-up efforts continue, resident Jacques Gagné worries there could be a more serious accident.
“We have a lot of people. Imagine if what happened in Mégantic happened here? It would be 10 times worse,” Gagné said, adding that he wants stricter legislations for railway companies to ensure he and his neighbours are safe.