Windsor

Sulphuric acid cleanup at Sarnia-Port Huron train derailment site expected to finish Monday

About 40 cars derailed early Friday morning in the one-lane tunnel, spilling about 52,000 litres of sulphuric acid.

'Crews have begun pumping the spilled sulphuric acid and are making steady progress'

A view of Friday's train derailment closer to the tracks in Port Huron, Mich. (Amy Dodge/CBC)

Cleanup of sulphuric acid at the St. Clair River rail tunnel, which links Sarnia, Ont. to Port Huron, Mich., is expected to be finished Monday, CN Rail says.

About 40 cars derailed early Friday morning in the one-lane tunnel, spilling about 52,000 litres of sulphuric acid. No injuries were reported.

The rail company has deployed its team of "dangerous goods experts" and "third-party contractors" to assist in the cleanup, according to a statement sent to CBC News.

"Crews have begun pumping the spilled sulphuric acid and are making steady progress. CN expects the product to be completely removed from the site by Monday morning," CN said Sunday.

CN adds the acid is contained to the derailment site, poses no danger to the public and has not leaked into drinking water sources or the surrounding environment.

That determination was made by Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the state's Environmental Protection Agency, according to a Facebook comment from Port Huron city manager James Freed.

CN Rail cleanup crews are expected to leave the derailment site Monday. (Amy Dodge/CBC)

On Friday, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada — an independent agency which investigates railway incidents but does not assign fault or determine liability — said it was deploying a team of investigators at the site to "gather information and assess the occurrence."

CBC News contacted the board again on Sunday, but was told there were no updates regarding the investigation.

The St. Clair Tunnel first opened in 1891 and was used until 1995 when it was replaced by a new larger tunnel.

The tunnel spans about 1,800 metres, but fewer than 200 metres was under water. It was officially renamed the Paul M. Tellier Tunnel in 2004, but is regularly referred to by its original name, the St. Clair Tunnel.

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