UPDATE: 'No environmental pollution' in the Fraser River from barge fire, but monitoring continues - Canadanewsmedia
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UPDATE: 'No environmental pollution' in the Fraser River from barge fire, but monitoring continues

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Flames are no longer visible and the smoke over New Westminster has waned, but firefighting crews remain on scene of a barge fire in the Fraser River.

Crews have been on scene since the early morning hours battling the fire on a barge containing compacted cars, sending a giant plume of noxious smoke into the air.  The fully loaded 76-metre barge was moored just north of the Pattullo Bridge.

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Danielle Jang, who works in media relations for the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, reported as of 3:15 p.m. that Vancouver and Surrey fire departments remained on site at the fire.

“Their fire suppression efforts have been successful with a significant reduction in smoke,” she said in an email.

A fireboat from Vancouver had been called because firefighters in Surrey could not attack the worst of the flames near the front of the vessel, farthest from shore. Officials said the fire had worked its way deep into the load of vehicles, and the thick, black smoke that filled the air this morning resulted from the burning oil, tires, seats, dashboards and other materials in the crushed vehicles.

Jang said the barge is being leased by Schnitzer Steel, one of North America’s largest recyclers of metal products. How and when exactly the fire started is still unknown. But Jang confirmed the barge contained scrap metal.

The fire burned much of the day because upper levels of the load needed to be removed to be able to get water on the fire below.

Vancouver Fire Chief Darrell Reid, on Twitter, said the firefighting effort was very challenging and that it was expected to be a “long duration event.”

 

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The Record also asked Jang what kind of environmental effects the fire might have on the river and its surroundings and what agencies would get involved in its investigation.

Jang said the Coast Guard has reported that “there has been no environmental pollution in the water at this point,” but they are continuing to monitor the situation.

Meanwhile, New Westminster residents should still keep an eye on Metro Vancouver’s air quality warnings.

Metro Vancouver’s warning came as a result of what it described as “sporadic elevated levels of fine particulate matter” that were measured at air quality monitoring stations this morning.

Compounding the air issues are smoke from the Whyte Lake wildfire in West Vancouver, plus wildfires burning in California, Oregon and Washington.

“Smoke concentrations can vary widely across the region as winds and temperatures change, and as fire behaviour changes,” the notice read.

 

– with files from CP

 

Here’s the state of the firefighting efforts as of about 1 p.m. Friday. – Julie MacLellan

 

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PHOTOS: Hurricane force winds, snow, slam Newfoundland

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NEWFOUNDLAND | Heavy snow


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theweathernetwork.com

Thursday, November 15, 2018, 2:52 PM – The strongest storm of the season so far edged into Atlantic Canada earlier this week, strengthening rapidly as it barrelled through the north Atlantic Thursday. Hurricane force winds, snow, and damaging storm surge were expected to batter parts of Newfoundland the the day, with the largest waves on the planet targeting the island.

The storm knocked out power to thousands as winds whipped the region.

“This is just one of many issues our crews have been dealing with,” said Newfoundland Power in a tweet showing powerline damage. “We thank all of our customers who have been impacted during this storm for their patience. We are working as safely and diligently as possible to restore power to our customers.”

Much of Atlantic Canada saw winds upwards of 80 km/h, with most of Newfoundland experiencing wind gusts over 130 km/m, which made for reduced visibility and dangerous driving conditions.

Atlantic Canada will continue to be the focus of the active weather through next week with a couple more systems expected

RELATED: Get the latest updates on the system impacting Atlantic Canada here

SEE IMPACTS OF THE ‘WEATHER BOMB’ IMPACTING NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR, BELOW: 

Do you have a photo or video you’d like to share with us? Be sure to upload it to our website, here.

WATCH BELOW: ROUGH WEATHER IN NEWFOUNDLAND RESULTS IN PLANE CRASH ON WEST COAST OF PROVINCE

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Work accident claims three

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Three people are dead after an apparent workplace accident just south of Edmonton.

Police, firefighters and emergency crews responded Thursday afternoon to a call at Millennium Cryogenic Technologies in Leduc.

Mayor Bob Young confirms three people died.

Young says it isn't clear what happened at the worksite in the Leduc Business Park.

He says the situation is contained and there is no risk to the public.

RCMP and Alberta Occupational Health & Safety officers are investigating.

"On behalf of Leduc City Council and administration, I want to express our deepest condolences to the co-workers and families affected by this tragic incident,” Young said in a statement.

Premier Rachel Notley said her heart breaks for the workers and their families.

"While we wait for details about how this tragic accident happened, my thoughts are with all those who are mourning this terrible loss," she said in a statement.

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Search and rescue responding to bulk carrier off Newfoundland, no plans to abandon ship

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Rescue officials have come to the aid of a bulk carrier that flooded Thursday afternoon off Newfoundland.

Joint Task Force Atlantic says the Centennial Harmony was roughly 460 kilometres off St. John’s, N.L., in the Grand Banks with when it reported flooding onboard around 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

READ MORE: Rescue mission underway for person who fell overboard off N.S. coast

In a statement Thursday evening, National Defence said the flooding was under control, and there was no intention to abandon ship.

It says the bulk carrier – with 21 crew members – was also having intermittent power issues and required technical assistance.


A Hercules aircraft and the Canadian Coast Guard ship Sir Wilfred Grenfell responded to the incident.

A resupply ship, the Maersk Cutter, was on standby roughly 150 kilometres away to assist if required.

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