Evacuation after train derails in Canada, catches fire

Evacuation has been ordered in Canada's province of Saskatchewan after a freight train derailed, catching fire and releasing a giant cloud of black smoke.

The CN Rail derailment occurred near the town of Wadena, Tuesday morning, CBC News said. The small community of Clair is now being evacuated. There have so far been no reports of any injuries or damage in the community.

A spokesman for CN said that 26 out of 100 cars derailed, 6 of which contained hazardous materials, CBC Canada reports. Four of them contained either hydrochloric acid or caustic soda, while the other two had petroleum distillates, CN said.

"Of the 26 derailed cars, two cars carrying petroleum distillate have spilled and that's the product that caught fire. There were four other dangerous goods cars; two of hydrochloric acid, two of caustic soda. They are reported to be intact," said CN spokesman Jim Feeny cited by Reuters.

The plumes of black smoke have been confirmed to come from petroleum distillate, which spilled from two of the derailed cars.

“They had fire and smoke,” Feeny said. “The crew is not injured, but we have reports from the local authorities that some nearby residents in the rural area have been evacuated.”

Canada's Transportation Safety Board has deployed a team of investigators to the site. CN claims that no injuries have yet been reported as the accident happened off the main line.

“Provincial emergency services are headed out there,” said Karen Hill, a spokeswoman for Saskatchewan provincial emergency services, Canadian Press reports. “The RCMP have closed the highway in both directions.”