The derailment of a train carrying dangerous chemicals in Mississauga, near Toronto, Ontario in Canada on Saturday (10 November) night has resulted in the biggest mass evacuation in Canadian history.
The derailment of a train carrying dangerous chemicals in Mississauga, near Toronto, Ontario in Canada on Saturday (10 November) night has resulted in the biggest mass evacuation in Canadian history. Nearly a quarter of a million people have been evacuated from the town because of the risk of the release of poisonous fumes from the crashed train reaching Mississauga.
SYNOPSIS: Seven of the tanker cars were carrying chlorine, propane and other gases and immediately exploded into flames. Emergency services attempted to gain control of the blaze and allow the gases to burn off but a cloud of deadly chlorine gas hung over the area and forced the evacuation. An eighth tanker filled with liquid chlorine was threatened by the fire and could have resulted in further explosions.
Throughout Sunday (11 November) the evacuation operation was stepped up. Police described the measure as precautionary but by the end of the day 90 per cent of Mississauga's population had been moved to emergency centres in schools and a hastily assembled refugee camp at the Toronto International Centre. A fleet of more than 50 ambulances evacuated patients from the hospital and several convalescent hokes. No injuries were reported but people leaving the area said the fumes had caused nausea, burning eyes and headache.
Police said they feared that winds of increasing strength could carry the noxious smoke further afield and plans were made to evacuate the nearby Toronto borough of Etobicoke. Provincial government officials called in troops to help the evacuation operation. Scientists tested air in Mississauga and reported that the density of the fumes had not yet reached danger level.