Water advisory for residents near Ashcroft after train derailment - InfoNews

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Water advisory for residents near Ashcroft after train derailment

Image Credit: Wikipedia/Jenny Downing
January 13, 2017 - 5:46 PM

ASHCROFT - More than 24 hours after a train derailed near Ashcroft, Interior Health has advised residents to not consume water.

The health authority says in a news release they are continuing to investigate the derailment with the Ministry of Environment. Shortly before 4 p.m. yesterday, Jan. 12, 29 railcars carrying coal derailed south of Ashcroft.

The cars came to rest on the bank of the Thompson River, Interior Health said, but CP Rail has confirmed a substantial amount of metallurgical coal spilled into the river.

The product is fine-ground and used in steel production.

Interior Health says local communities have been notified and the public is advised to not consume water from the river for a distance of 50 kilometres downstream from the spill site.

"This is a precaution until further information is available on potential health risks," the health authority says.

Water quality sampling stations have been set up at the spill site as well as upstream and downstream. Results from water testing are expected to be available in two to four days.

Water testing results will be used to update the public about the need for either continuation or termination of the do not consume notice.

Boiling water will not remove the risk of potential chemical contamination, Interior Health says. If anyone has drank the water and feels unwell they are advised to see a doctor.

"The most likely effect from ingesting coal would be an upset stomach," the news release says.

CP Rail is expected to finish clearing the incident by this evening. Equipment has been brought in to keep additional coal out of the river.

"Interior Health will continue to monitor the situation and (is) currently conducting an assessment to determine if there are any possible health or environmental impacts," the health authority says.

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