Gogama, Ontario was once again the site of a dangerous crude oil train derailment this week, after 10 cars in a 30- to 40-car train went off the rails and caught fire about four kilometres northwest of town.
It was northern Ontario’s fourth derailment so far this year.
“Some of the rail cars that caught fire entered the Mattagami River system,” CBC reports. “Residents of Mattagami First Nation were being advised not to consume water from their community source for the time being. Residents of Gogama and Mattagami First Nation were also being asked to stay inside until further notice due to possible smoke inhalation.”
Canadian National Railways said it had activated its emergency response plan and deployed booms to try to contain the oil in the river.
“I look out my window here at the Inn, and all I see is the smoke in the distance. I could see it at 4 a.m. It makes you feel rather uncomfortable,” said Roxanne Veronneau, owner of the Gogama Village Inn, about two kilometres from the derailment site.
“Hopefully there isn’t going to be a next time, and our town will be safe. But when you see, like, 100 cars, I don’t know, 70 cars of crude oil coming right down the middle of your town, the thought crosses your mind when you see what’s happened in Quebec.”