Train Derailment. July 12/18 (Photo by Melanie Irwin)

‘Human Error’ In CN Miscommunication

Sarnia’s police chief says CN Rail’s failure to call 911 about a local train derailment was a “human error” issue that won’t be repeated.

Norm Hansen took part in a debriefing at police headquarters Tuesday.

He says he’s confident proper emergency protocol will be followed in the future.

“The incident itself seemed to be handled very well, CN had their experts there, as did Sarnia Fire and Rescue,” says Hansen. “The only issue that we had was there was a bit of a communication breakdown right at the start. We at Sarnia police learned about it a little later than we wanted to and that was simply a human error issue. It was nothing to do with anything that would be repeated.”

Chief Hansen says CN plans to make some adjustments in training and its manuals of operation following the July 12 derailment in the local rail yard near Indian Rd.

Nine cars, including some tanker cars, carrying various products, left the tracks.

City police and fire, Sarnia’s emergency planner, Mayor Mike Bradley and MP Marilyn Gladu met with CN officials, Transport Canada and Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks Tuesday.

CN Rail never called 911. Sarnia fire was notified after a member of the department received a call on his cell phone.

Chief Hansen says Sarnia’s Chemical Valley Emergency Coordinating Organization (CVECO), which notifies the public and allows information sharing among emergency services, is world renowned and needs to be used.

No one was injured in the derailment and no chemical or gas spills occurred.