Safety board says flaw in rail found, but not fixed before 38 cars derailed in B.C.

Train was heading from Chetwynd to Prince George in May 2021 incident

A train derailment near Kitwanga, B.C., between Smithers and Terrace, is shown in this January 2020 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Transportation Safety Board of Canada

The Transportation Safety Board says a defect in a railway track was found nine days before 38 Canadian National Railway cars derailed in northern British Columbia but it wasn’t fixed.

A report released Monday says the problem on the CN main track was identified as needing an urgent fix in May 2021, but a followup track inspection didn’t find the bent spikes or a spreading of the rails on the curve where the cars left the tracks.

All of the cars remained upright and no dangerous goods spilled when the derailment happened June 3 last year.

The train was heading from Chetwynd to Prince George and both crew members were unhurt.

The report says spikes keeping the rails in line on a curve lifted away, causing the derailment.

The safety board report advises that when crews are conducting track inspections on curves, they must pay particular attention to both rails for signs of instability, so that repairs can be completed.

RELATED: Track failure led to train derailment in northern B.C.: safety board

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