Two people are dead and three are injured after a train derailed in Woss, a small community on northern Vancouver Island.
Officials say a logging train derailed around 8:45 a.m. on Thursday in the Cougar Crescent area of Woss, a hamlet about 130 kilometres north of Campbell River.
David Rushton, the regional district director of Woss, says it’s devastating for the small community of 190 people.
“Even to this point tremendous support and it’s reassuring to know that it’s there,” Rushton said. “My understanding is that we’re having counsellors coming down and that people will certainly take advantage of that.”
Unconfirmed reports say a train with as many as 11 rail cars filled with logs may have been on a runaway trip down the tracks. It came upon a maintenance crew working along the rail tracks.
The injured workers were airlifted to hospital, including one who had been trapped under the logs for more than four hours.
“The efforts to get the final patient out were nothing short of heroic, there was a lot of logs to be moved,” said Nat Pottage, Port Hardy’s Unit Chief.
The rail line’s owner says the train was carrying Western Forest Product personnel and material.
"We are saddened to report an incident with a train derailment in Woss,” president and CEO Don Demens said in a press release. “The safety and security of our staff and the communities where we work are paramount."
The company says it's cooperating with authorities.
It’s not yet known what caused the train to derail.
RCMP Island District General Investigation Section is investigating along with the Coroners Service, the Transportation Safety Board and WorkSafeBC.
More investigators are expected on scene Friday.
Investigation continues at the scene of logging train derailment in the heart of Woss on Northern Vancouver Island. Coroner heading to scene pic.twitter.com/BnRgRbY7cX— Gord Kurbis (@CTVNewsGord) April 20, 2017
A coroner is travelling to train derailment near Woss. Coroner is only called out if there is a fatality involved. Confirmed by @bccoroners— Andrew Johnson (@CTVNewsAndrew) April 20, 2017
air ambulance on the ground waiting to transport patient involved in train derailment here pic.twitter.com/f1wNjSq275— Gord Kurbis (@CTVNewsGord) April 20, 2017