Transportation Safety Board investigating potential train fire in Lytton

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team to Lytton, British Columbia, to investigate a possible train-related fire.

In a brief statement issued on July 9, the TSB said the team was headed to the town to investigate “a fire potentially involving a freight train.”

“The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence,” the statement reads. “It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.”

Earlier on Friday, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra temporarily banned Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway trains from operating in the area.

Alghabra’s ministerial order went into affect at 12:01 am PDT on July 9, and will be in place for 48 hours unless it is revoked earlier.

While the order is in place, trains can not run between Kamloops and Boston Bar, although exceptions will be made for emergency fire response and maintenance work.

This “necessary” measure will help to “reduce the risk of serious accidents,” a statement from Transport Canada reads.

“The Government of Canada is committed to supporting those affected by the devastating wildfires in British Columbia,”Alghabra said.

“[The order] is being put in place in the interest of safe railway operations and to protect residents who are temporarily returning to inspect their homes as safely as possible.”

On July 9, Lytton residents were permitted to return home for the first time since a deadly wildfire tore through the village on June 30.

“A few buildings survived in town but nearly every home in the centre of the
village is gone,” a release from the town reads. “Where many buildings stood is now simply charred earth.”

“What has not been melted, incinerated or damaged beyond repair has been compromised to the point of being unsafe… Please understand that if a wall is standing, it does not mean there is anything on the other side of it.”

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