January 21, 2007 / 8:29 AM / 13 years ago

Canadian train crew rescued after canyon wreck

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Two Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) workers were pulled to safety on Thursday after spending the night in a locomotive that slid down a steep hill in British Columbia’s Thompson River Canyon.

The men were operating a Vancouver-bound freight train that went off the tracks after hitting a rock slide at about 1 a.m. local time (0800 GMT) on Canadian National’s mainline, north of Lytton, British Columbia, CN spokesman Jim Feeny said.

Rescuers were able to use ropes to lower blankets and hot food to the train crew, but because of safety concerns decided to wait until daylight to attempt to bring them up the 50-meter (160-foot) embankment.

“It was steep and there were still some rocks coming down,” Feeny said, adding that it was also safer to wait because the two men were not seriously injured.

The engineer and conductor were pulled to safety about seven hours after the accident in British Columbia’s rugged Interior.

The accident has blocked CN’s mainline through British Columbia for an undetermined amount of time, but the railway was working with Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) on temporarily rerouting trains.

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