Emergency crews are cleaning up after the overnight derailment of a CN freight train near the intersection of Saint-Jacques and de Courcelle Streets in St-Henri spilled around 3,500 litres of diesel fuel.

No one was hurt in the incident but firefighters and Urgence-Environnement had a busy morning trying to recover the fuel, which spilled from one of the train’s two locomotives.

The train was transporting containers full of merchandise and tanks of grain from Halifax to Montreal. Two tankers of grain and both locomotives came off the rails but remained upright.

André Ménard, a spokesman for the provincial environmental emergency agency Urgence-Environnement, told Radio-Canada that around 3,000 litres of fuel were recovered and the other 500 litres were absorbed by the soil without risk to the water supply and sewer system.

The Transportation Safety Board and CN are now investigating the derailment.

“It’s too early to suggest a cause,” said Louis-Antoine Paquin, a spokesman for CN.


Local residents protest the diesel fuel spill from a locomotive that derailed in the heart of St-Henri early Sunday morning. (CBC)

Paquin sought to assure nearby residents that there were no dangerous materials on the train, which had two drivers working at the time.

“We never take these incidents lightly and we’re keeping safety officials informed of developments,” he said.

CN workers spent Sunday morning trying to get the cars back on the track.