Moncton's fire chief says the department should be called in immediately after a train derailment such as the incident that occurred Saturday at Gordon Yard.

At about 12:20 a.m. Saturday, 16 cars of an eastbound train — six empty automobile carriers and 10 loaded with crude oil — derailed while entering Gordon Yard, according to CN Rail.              

One of the cars had a minor leak and just over 150 litres dripped on to the ground below the car, says a CN spokesman.              

But Moncton Fire chief Eric Arsenault says the department wasn't notified until more than seven hours later.

"From our perspective, we would have preferred to know about the derailment at the moment it happened," said Arsenault. 

"But the way things unfurled, RST, which is a company that was sent from Saint John to do the transfer of oil from the damaged car to a spare car, requested our presence as a precaution in case something were to go wrong in the transfer of product."             

The incident happened on private property, away from homes, businesses and the main rail line.

The cause of the incident remains under investigation, says a CN spokesman.              

Transport Canada says it will follow up with CN to make sure rail safety rules were complied with.