An empty propane rail car derailed from a siding in Matsqui and rolled into a ditch early Tuesday morning, according to the Southern Railway of B.C. (SRY).
The incident occurred while crews were switching cars, said SRY director of community relations Singh Biln.
Abbotsford fire crews responded, “performed a sniff test and left after concluding that there was no propane leaking.”
The cause of the derailment is under investigation, but Biln said the car left the track at a safety derail device on a siding at around 3 a.m. Tuesday.
“The safety derail device was effective in preventing [the car] from entering the mainline,” Biln said in an email. A derail device is a metal instrument that locks onto a track and causes runaway cars to leave the railroad, rather than enter a mainline or other active track.
Biln said a contractor will be at the scene to determine how to get the car back on the rail tracks.
He added that the company’s emergency response protocol was enacted because the car, although empty, is a dangerous goods car.
“This is an empty car that derailed on a siding at low speed so at no time was the public or our employees in any danger. Once the emergency responders have finished their assessments and authorized movement of the car, re-railing by our contractor Hunter Construction will commence,” Biln said.