CN Rail Responsible for Major Fish Kill
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources found 72,350 fish were killed – many of which were game species – as a result of the June 2009 derailment. A department spokesman said, “By numbers, this was the single-largest fish kill that was not a natural fish kill in the history of the state of Illinois.” The derailment included 19 of 114 tank cars, all carrying ethanol. A total of 60,000 gallons of ethanol, a quarter of the train’s load, spilled into a tributary of the Rock and Kishwaukee rivers.
A washout of the tracks contributed to the cause of the derailment, as did a failure of CN Rail’s emergency communications, according to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. Although attempts to notify the train crew of the weather emergency began an hour before the accident, they were apparently never received.
The CN wreck and resulting fire also killed a Rockford woman and injured about 10 others who waited in their cars at a railroad crossing.
This derailment and its causes are yet another example of why flammable, toxic and other dangerous products should not be moved by rail. (CN Rail and others are currently pushing to ship more petroleum products by rail.)
See this link for more examples of CN derailments.