Tragedy struck Whitby Wednesday night and it could take days to clean up the aftermath of a terrible accident.
According to Durham Regional Police, two flat-deck rail cars, which were part of a freight train, derailed on a bridge in the city. And that’s when 14 of the huge cargo containers they were carrying tumbled off the train bed and on to the four-lane road that leads to Highway 401.
Sadly, a vehicle underneath carrying two women was hit and crushed by the falling materials. The victims are believed to be an aunt and her teenaged niece.
It’s not clear what led to the derailment, but the weather was bad at the time, as Ontario was hit with cold and snowy conditions.
Experts say the fallen cargo doesn’t contain any hazardous materials - the cars were filled with paper - and the area didn’t need to be evacuated. But it still might take a while to get the clean up finished.
“We have to look at the train, we have to look at the equipment. We have to look at the track … That could take hours, sometimes, days,” explained Paul Thurston, from public affairs for CP Rail.
Police say Garden Street will be shut down for at least two days, while nearby Leslie MacFarlane Public School will be closed for at least Thursday.
January 15, 2004