A train operated by Canadian Pacific Railways derailed in rural Maine on Saturday morning, and the Rockwood Fire Department warned residents to “stay clear” of the affected area. Three railroad employees were sent to the hospital to treat injuries that were reportedly not life-threatening.
Canadian Pacific Railways said lumber cars and three locomotives derailed north of Rockwood, Maine, near Moosehead Lake due to a track washout, according to a report by WGME.
“Train derailment with fire north of rockwood, please stay clear!” Rockwood Fire & Rescue warned in a Facebook post Saturday.
Train derailment with fire north of rockwood, please stay clear!
The fire department’s Facebook post had initially said there were hazardous materials on the train, but the post was later edited to have that information removed.
Canadian Pacific Railways said the train that caught fire only involved the locomotives and lumber cars, not the cars that were carrying hazardous materials.
The company added that residents have not been evacuated and insisted that there is no threat to the public. Canadian Pacific Railways said it is working with local first responders and that hazardous materials experts are assessing the situation.
Rockwood Fire & Rescue also posted a photo of the train derailment, which shows a fire burning and a dark plume of smoke in a forest area covered in snow.
Rockwood is a small village in Maine, located on the western side of Moosehead Lake in the northern part of the state, just 45 miles from the Canadian border.
“A total of three locomotive engines and six rail cars carrying lumber and electrical wiring derailed into a wooded area, where they caught fire and started a small forest fire. The fires are contained and are being monitored,” the Maine Forest Service said in a Facebook post.
“Additional rail cars transporting hazardous materials did not derail,” the statement added. “The assessment of officials on the scene is that these hazardous materials are not at risk of leaking and are not at risk of catching fire.”
The Maine Forest Service went on to explain that it does not believe the public is at risk at this time but noted that “officials continue to ask that the public avoid the area.”
The forest service added that “an early assessment indicates that the derailment may have been caused by a build-up of melting ice and debris that washed out part of the railroad track.”
“Three railroad employees were sent to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries,” the Maine Forest Service said.