Investigators probing the fiery Feb. 6 train derailment near Guernsey, Saskatchewan that spilled 7,500 barrels of crude oil have been unable to determine any operator error connected with the crash.
“A review of the locomotive event recorder download determined that the train was handled in accordance with regulatory and company requirements,” according to an update from regulator Transport Canada.
Likewise, investigators have been unable to establish any mechanical cause for the accident. Data does indicate that the emergency brakes were applied at the time of the derailment.
Thirty-two of the 104 tank cars carrying oil derailed with several breached during the impact. These complied with new industry standard put in place after the 2013 derailment and fire in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, that killed 42 people and destroyed more than 30 buildings.
“There is significant industry interest in documenting the performance of the DOT 117J100-W tank cars” with regard to containment integrity and fire resistance, the Transport Canada update states.
Last December, only 10 kilometers further down the tracks, a derailment also spilled 7,500 barrels of crude which ignited.
Three Transport Canada investigators are working alongside investigators from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board to gather information at the Guernsey wreck site.
“Each tank car must be cleaned, purged, and staged prior to inspection,” the report states. “As of February 12 2020, about 17 of the derailed cars have been examined with several exhibiting breaches.”