A recent train derailment north of DArcy in which three rail cars loaded with sulfur pellets wound up at the bottom of Anderson Lake poses no threat whatsoever to the environment, says B.C. Rail director of communications Alan Dever.
"The DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) and Ministry of Environment were called right away, and they agreed there was no danger to the environment or the lake," says Dever.
At about 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 th , 17 cars of the southbound train derailed on a cliff over Anderson Lake at Mile 131.5, sending three of the cars over the side. They are still at the bottom of the lake, in an area that is hundreds of feet deep.
The sulfur pellets in the railcars are totally inert, being a naturally occurring substance, and wont react or cause harm to the lake.
No one was injured in the accident. Freight trains that were waiting to pass were rerouted around the lake and passengers were transported by bus until B.C. Rail crews could finish repairing the rail-line on Saturday evening.
The derailment is still under investigation but B.C. Rails says that it was likely caused by some problem with railroad rather than a boulder or other natural obstacle.
"We dont know what the exact cause is yet, but were working to find out why the derailment took place so we can take measures to make sure that it doesnt happen again," says Dever. "It takes a fair bit of detective work, so it will likely be some time before we have a definitive answer."
He said B.C. Rail safety initiatives have cut down on the number of derailments in the province from two a month to less than one.
"Its unfortunate that these things happen, but given the terrain we work in it does happen."