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Grand chief calls for cooperation after derailment

On Saturday March 7, a CN crude oil train derailed about four kilometres southwest of Gogama, and near the Mattagami First Nation.
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In an open letter to Environment Minister Glen Murray, NDP health critic France Gélinas, and the party's energy critic, Peter Tabuns, asked that the province prosecute CN Rail and the owners of the oil that spilled near Gogama March 7, after a train derailment, if any environmental laws have been broken. Supplied photo.
On Saturday March 7, a CN crude oil train derailed about four kilometres southwest of Gogama, and near the Mattagami First Nation.

According to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, more than 30 cars carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire, creating thick black plumes of smoke.

The Sudbury and District Health Unit reported crude oil leaked into an adjacent waterway, Minisinakwa Lake.

The CN train reportedly passed through the centre of Gogama only minutes before it had derailed.

There were no injuries due to the derailment.

It was the fourth CN train derailment in Northern Ontario in 2015, and the second near Gogama in only three weeks.

On Feb. 14 a CN derailment released one million litres of crude oil about 37 kilometres from the site of the March 7 derailment.

In a press release Sunday, the Ontario Provincial Police said Highway 144 remains closed between Gogama and the watershed.

“The re-opening time is still undetermined,” the OPP said.

CN CEO Jim Vena said he apologizes to the near Gogama and Mattagami for “disruptions caused by second derailment in such a short time.”

CN said on Twitter Gogama's drinking water supply was not adversely impacted by the derailment.

But the Sudbury and District Health Unit said people who draw their water from Minisinakwa Lake should exercise caution.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating the derailment.