NIAGARA FALLS Vandalism and not sabotage is blamed for the uncoupling in the CSX railroad yard of an empty freight car that rolled across the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge into Canada before it coasted to a stop near the VIA Rail Canada passenger station in Niagara Falls, Ont.
The incident is believed to have occurred undetected about 1:30 a.m. Aug. 12, and Canadian news media have widely reported that officials there began an investigation about 11 hours later.
The empty rail car, used to carry finished vehicles, rolled approximately 1.5 miles from the rail yard in Niagara Falls, N.Y., to just west of the Whirlpool Bridge in Niagara Falls, Ont., CSX spokesman Robert Sullivan said.
The incident is being treated as an act of vandalism and remains under investigation, Sullivan said in a statement.
The freight car was described as a two-level automobile carrier typically used to transport new cars from Detroit, through Canada and back into the United States at Niagara Falls. The emptied carriers usually are returned to Detroit via the same route.
The matter is not believed to have been a threat to national security.
Jean DAmelio-Swyer, a spokeswoman for the Canada Border Services Agency, has told the Canadian media the agency is working with its partners, including the rail carrier, to review the incident and to ensure that mechanisms are in place to prevent any such re-occurrence.