Lessons learned by Gainford train derailment shared on YouTube

Parkland County has posted a YouTube video about what they learned from the derailment of CN fuel cars in the hamlet of Gainford, Alta. on Oct. 19, 2013

Explosion, fire, of CN fuel cars rocked Alberta hamlet early on Oct. 19, 2013

Deputy Fire Chief Shawn McKerry is one of the Parkland County officials to appear in the video. (Parkland County)

A derailment of 13 CN fuel cars that triggered a massive explosion and fire in the hamlet of Gainford, Alta. last year has prompted Parkland County to post a YouTube video about what was learned. 

The 13-minute video features dramatic photos, video footage, audio of 911 calls and interviews with first responders recounting how they dealt with the derailment early on Oct. 19, 2013. 

Deputy Fire Chief Shawn McKerry said the county decided to produce the $6,000 video after receiving calls from other municipalities about how they handled the emergency. 

In the video, McKerry and other municipal and emergency officials frankly discuss what the county did right, and what they would improve next time, all in the name of helping others. 

“There was no preparation, there was no planning at one in the morning [when] this happened. And so it really threw us for a curve ball, obviously, as you can imagine,” McKerry told CBC News.

“What we can do is we can learn from each other in this fashion. So we take our lessons learned and we want to share that with everybody else.”

County officials say the use of a unified command and the decision to close Highway 16 were good decisions. The emergency also showed them that they had the capacity to deal with these type of events. 

However, they says communication with residents could have been better. 

Nine of the derailed cars were pressurized containers carrying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); the remaining four contained petroleum crude oil. The incident forced 136 residents from their homes for nearly four days. 

McKerry hopes the video will be viewed around the world.


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