TSB to release report into 2013 CP Rail derailment, bridge failure during flood

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CALGARY — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is to release its report today about a bridge failure and freight train derailment in Calgary during a devastating flood.

The Bonnybrook bridge over the swollen Bow River gave way underneath a Canadian Pacific Railway train (TSX:CP) on June 27, 2013, while the city was trying to recover from high water that had washed over many neighbourhoods just days before.

Six tank cars carrying a petroleum dilutant teetered on the failing bridge. They were unloaded and removed over two days without going into the river.

Engineers blamed the breakdown of the bridge, which was built in 1912, on fast water scouring away gravel under a support. Railways are under federal jurisdiction and are responsible for their own inspections.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi was furious when the derailment happened and questioned whether the company had laid off any of its bridge inspectors. The railway later apologized.

James Carmichael, a Transportation Safety Board investigator, said at the time that CP would be asked about its protocol for inspecting bridges, tracks, rail cars and locomotives after floods.

He said the agency would find out what happened and why in an effort to prevent similar accidents.

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