Multiple local agencies responded Sept. 6 to a report of a leaking tank car carrying turpentine on a Canadian National Railway train traveling through Ranier.
The report at about 2:15 p.m. was made as a result of an odor left as the train passed through, International Falls Fire Chief Adam Mannausau told The Journal this week.
The International Falls Fire Department coordinated with CN representatives and isolated the train outside of Ranier in an uninhabited area, he said. The department, with coordination from CN, identified the car and set up air monitoring equipment.
Mannausau said it was determined the car had a very small leak due to a faulty gasket on the manway. The department stayed on the scene providing manpower and air monitoring until a CN representative arrived and repaired the gasket.
Mannausau said the incident was handled the right way by his department and other agencies.
"This incident worked the way it should: proper notification was made, there was immediate response and coordination between CN Rail and the International Falls Fire Department and safety measures were in place until the gasket was repaired," he said.
Alexandre Boulé, CN senior advisor, Media Relations and Public Affairs, said the tank car did not leak, but released vapor.
"Some components of the car were replaced to ensure safe transportation of the product," he said. "There was no danger to public safety with no fire, no injuries, and no environmental impact reported."
Mannausau provided the following about the incident:
- The tank car was carrying turpentine, a by-product of the paper making process, that originated in Canada.
- The Fire Department responded with 20 firefighters, using the hazmat truck, one fire engine as a precaution, and one ambulance on stand-by.
- -International Falls Fire/Rescue/EMS was on the scene until around 9 p.m.
- The event was small, posing very little threat to the public. Once isolated there was no threat to the public.
- Agencies on-scene included CN Railway, Koochiching County Sheriff’s Department, Koochiching County Emergency Management, International Falls Fire/Rescue/EMS.
- Phone contacts made: CN Railway, MN State Duty Officer, MN State Fire Marshal’s Office Special Teams Division, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Boulé recognized the local emergency services for their assistance during the incident.