CN Rail crews were at the scene of a train derailment on Gates Lake Wednesday afternoon, about 25 kilometres north of Pemberton.
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The lake is located close to Birken, an unincorporated community north of Pemberton.
CN said the train derailed at about 4:15 p.m. The company said an initial assessment showed it was carrying wood products and there were no dangerous goods involved.
Lauren Phare, who lives right on the lake, said the derailment sounded like a “really big bang.”
“It just sounded like a bunch of screeching metal,” she told Global News.
“Almost like a rockslide, just tumbling and then a splash.”
When her family caught sight of the derailment, they saw one car fully in the water, just sort of floating as the wind pulled it.
Another car was hanging in the water, while a third one looked like it was being pulled down into the lake.
Phare and her family hopped in a boat and pulled some railway ties out of the water so that other lake users couldn’t hit them.
They also used their boat to pull one of the cars back to shore.
The B.C Government said Thursday none of the material released into the lake.
A second full pulp rail car is partially in the lake as well and also has not breached. There is no reported pollution at this time.
The derailment didn’t quite create the scene that last year’s did, according to Phare.
Last September, five cars apparently carrying lumber went into the water.
Phare was shocked when it happened last year. But this time?
“Oh, this happened again, are you serious?” she said.
“Is this going to be a normal thing now? A once-a-year train event that a train’s going to go in the lake?”
Phare said the cars that went into the lake were empty — “fortunately” — but added she was worried cars carrying chemicals might fall in there in a future incident.
“If it was a chemical car, that would be kind of catastrophic for this whole area,” she said.
CN said crews are conducting a “full assessment” of the situation.
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