Plaster Rock derailment cleanup nearly complete, CN says
4,400 tonnes of contaminated soil hauled away, residential wells tested
CN Rail says it has nearly finished cleaning up the train derailment that occurred near Plaster Rock earlier this month.
The road down to crash site in Wapske remained blocked to all non-residents on Wednesday, more than two weeks after a train hauling crude oil, propane, butane and other goods jumped the tracks, sparking a massive fire.
The company says about 4,400 tonnes of contaminated soil has now been removed and backfilled.
The remaining contaminated soil will be hauled away by the end of the week, officials said in a statement to CBC News.
"It's getting there," said Bill Legette, one of the truck drivers transporting the loads to Fredericton.
"They're saying it's supposed to be done this week, but I don't know. It all depends. That stuff is cold, and it sticks in the trailer."
The house closest to the railway tracks has had a trench measuring about 1.5 metres deep dug around it and the soil removed.
One house remains under an evacuation order, CN said. There is no word on when those residents will be allowed back home.
About 150 people living within a two-kilometre radius of the crash site were forced to leave their homes for several days.
CN says it has finished testing the wells of areas residents and all but one have been cleared for use.
The company has also installed 13 monitoring wells and systems to alert them to any problems that may arise once the ground begins to thaw.
David King says his home remains under a boil order, although the tests did not show anything believed to be attributable to the derailment.
"It's not bad, it just has a few things in it, so we can't drink it from the tap," he said.
"They said they were going to come back probably two or three more times, keep checking our water, make sure it's OK."