Fort McMurray, AB – A freight train carrying over 50,000 litres of fresh water has derailed, devastating several open pit mines and tailing ponds in the Fort McMurray area.
No injuries were reported when 12 cars of pristine river water from British Columbia jumped the tracks and plunged into an open pit being mined for heavy crude and bitumen.
However, at least three of the double-hulled containers ruptured on impact covering the mine in a chemical known as dihydrogen monoxide or H20. Helpless oil workers looked on in disbelief as a small pond of water began to form over their work site.
Officials from Alberta highways, environmental services, hazardous materials, emergency services, the Canadian Association for Petroleum Producers, and CP called for an immediate evacuation for area residents affected by the water spill.
“We are testing [oil] wells, pipelines, and even gas stations to see if any water has seeped into our ecologically devastated environment,” explained a CAPP representative. “I would like to commend the quick response of our team. They’ve already begun deploying booms to ward off any further contamination and skimming the water off of bitumen.”
Clean-up from the spill is expected to take weeks and oil specialists say there is a risk that the water may attract wildlife by making the area habitable to organic life again.
Hundreds of oil-conscious citizens have volunteered to re-apply oily bitumen to geese and other waterfowl who may have had it washed off during the water spill.
The accident is yet another illustration of the dangers of transporting water, say some activists who believe that water should be left in the ground and not risk further catastrophe.
“Canada needs to transition itself off of a water-based economy,” explained one of the advocates. “We owe it to our children to finally end our dependence on water and move to a more sustainable like a cola-based economy.”