The president and CEO of Canadian National Railway says a fire that started after one of its freight trains derailed in northwestern New Brunswick was under control Wednesday.


Claude Mongeau told a news conference that of the 17 cars that derailed Tuesday evening just outside Plaster Rock, nine of them were carrying dangerous goods, according to the Canadian Press.

Mongeau confirmed that the train was carrying crude oil from Western Canada to the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John, N.B.

The CN freight train ran into trouble around 7 o'clock Tuesday evening. Investigators from Canada's Transportation Safety Board say the derailment appears to have been caused by a broken axle near the front of the train, which forced a sudden stop. Cars closer to the rear also jumped the track, and investigators say that's where the fire originated.

New Brunswick’s Emergency Measures Organization reports the number of people affected by an evacuation order includes roughly 150 people in 50 households.

Mongeau said it was still too early to say when residents would be allowed back home.

"The fire is our first priority at the moment," he said, adding that CN Railway will "step up" if there is any impact to the environment and nearby residents.

The provincial Health Department says as a precaution, people in the area with private wells should not consume their water.