CN Rail says petroleum coke spilled into creek after freight cars derail in B.C.

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PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - Canadian National Railway says 27 cars of a freight train derailed Thursday, spilling some of its freight into a creek in northern British Columbia.

Jonathan Abecassis of CN Rail says "a small amount" of petroleum coke spilled into a creek in Giscome, northeast of Prince George.

He says in an email statement that no one was hurt and environmental experts and regulatory officials are overseeing the cleanup.

A team from the Transportation Safety Board has been sent to the site of the derailment to gather information.

Students and staff at Giscome Elementary, barely 200 metres from the scene, were evacuated Thursday as a precaution while officials determined exactly what the train was hauling.

The school remains closed as the cleanup is affecting access to the area but a notice on the school's website says classes are going ahead at a nearby elementary for those students and staff who are able to get past the derailment.

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