CN derailment in Georgina 'unacceptable,' resident says

1 child dead, several people injured in multi-vehicle crash in East Gwillimbury

No one was injured and no hazardous materials were spilled after 15 cars of a CN freight train derailed early Sunday in the town of Georgina.

The train cars were carrying copper concentrates, according to CN Rail.

Jeremy McLeod, a resident who lives about two kilometres from the derailment, said the incident is cause for concern even though no one was hurt. Georgina, north of Toronto, is York Region's northernmost municipality.

"In terms of being post Lac-Mégantic, it is unacceptable," he said in an email on Sunday.

In Lac-Mégantic , Que., in July 2013, a runaway train carrying crude oil derailed, killing 47 people and destroying part of the town's downtown core.

McLeod said some of the derailed cars on Sunday were within 20 to 50 metres of businesses and residences. 

"The area is definitely not rural," he said.

He said the derailment occurred about 400 metres from a bridge that crosses over the Pefferlaw River, which flows into Lake Simcoe. It is likely about four kilometres to Lake Simcoe from the bridge, he said.

Brent Kossey, senior manager of government and stakeholder relations for CN Rail, said the derailment involving a southbound train occurred at about 3:00 a.m.

"There were no injuries, no dangerous goods involved and cars remain upright," Kossey said in an email on Sunday.

"Clean up is underway and the cause of this morning's derailment is under investigation."

CN crews are on the scene, he said. No buildings have been evacuated.

Cleanup to take time

Insp. Russ Bellman, duty inspector for York Regional Police, said the train that derailed was travelling near the village of Pefferlaw, which is part of the town, Bellman said.

Nothing is leaking and nothing fell out of the train cars, he said. 

Railway crossings at Pefferlaw Road and Old Homestead Road are blocked as crews work to clear the derailment.

"It's going to take the better part of the day for them to clear things up," he said.