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'I couldn't believe it': Freight train on fire rolls through downtown London, Ont.


The investigation into how a train moving through the City of London caught fire has been turned over to the CP Rail police.

“Everything is considered arson or suspicious until proven otherwise,” said London Platoon Chief Colin Shewell.

CTV News reached out to CP Rail and was told through a written response, "The incident remains under investigation. We thank the London first responders for their effective response to the fire last night."

Just before 11 p.m. on Sunday, London fire received multiple 911 calls about an eastbound train on fire, crossing over Oxford Street.

"We saw a train engulfed in flames, and flames spitting out of the top of the train cars and it was quite shocking to look at,” said Madison McArthur, who lives near the train tracks at Waterloo Street and Pall Mall Street.

The train was able to come to a stop in the area of Waterloo Street and Pall Mall Street where first responders took about an hour to get the fire under control.

"I was coming down Oxford street heading into downtown — I [saw] the train going across the bridge there, totally engulfed in flames. I couldn’t believe it,” said Tyler McNeill, who first saw the train on fire over the bridge at Oxford Street and Wharncliffe Road. 

According to Shewell, train crews were able to disconnect the cars that were on fire that were in close proximity to a hazmat car.

They were also able to take another hazmat car into the train yard and return to the scene to give fire crews details on that cars that were burning.

Shewell said those cars were carrying old wooden railway ties.

Damage to the railcars is estimated at $25,000 and $10,000 to a Drewlo Holding building.  

— With files from CTV News London's Reta Ismail

London fire responded to a moving train on fire in downtown London on April 21, 2024. (Source: Chad Lewis)First responders on scene in downtown London after a moving train caught fire on April 21, 2024. (Source: Joseph O'Neil/Facebook)A train caught fire while moving through downtown London April 21, 2024. (Source: Mikhail Ivanov)Train cars on fire as a train moves through downtown London on April 21, 2024. (Source: Submitted)Crews work to keep a fire out on five train cars that caught fire as it moved through downtown London on April 21, 2024. (Source: London fire) Top Stories

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