Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Train derailment causes just 'a few scratches'

Flooding blamed for Via Rail accident

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A Via Rail passenger train heading to Churchill from Winnipeg derailed just over the Saskatchewan border Sunday evening.

Company spokesman Jacques Gagnon said the derailment occurred about 6 p.m. Sunday.

It happened near Togo, Sask., a hamlet just across the border, about 40 kilometres northwest of Roblin.

Gagnon said "a few scratches" were the only injuries suffered by the people aboard. There were seven passengers and about five crew members on the very short train, he said.

"The good news is all the passengers are safe. All the employees are safe," Gagnon said.

Flooding on the rail line caused the derailment, he said.

RCMP and Via Rail staff organized ground transportation to a nearby lodge in Duck Mountain Provincial Park for the night.

Const. David Kisters of the Kamsack, Sask., RCMP detachment called it "a miracle" there were no serious injuries.

Several passenger cars were off the tracks, and the front of one car was "being held up in the air by the other cars."

RCMP officers had to walk about 1.5 kilometres down the tracks to get to the train and then shepherded all passengers and crew back the same way.

According to the Via Rail website, the Winnipeg-to-Churchill train makes the 1,700-kilometre journey to Churchill in two days.

After leaving Winnipeg, the route swings northwest through Dauphin and then across the Saskatchewan border through Togo to Kamsack before veering back into Manitoba and continuing north.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 30, 2013 A7

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