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Excavator removed from Kootenay Lake

A crane (right) lifted the excavator out of the lake and lowered it onto a barge. The excavator is upside down, as it was when it rested in the water, its treads up, a metre or so below the surface. - Alistair Fraser photo
A crane (right) lifted the excavator out of the lake and lowered it onto a barge. The excavator is upside down, as it was when it rested in the water, its treads up, a metre or so below the surface.
— image credit: Alistair Fraser photo

The excavator that fell into Kootenay Lake from a Canadian Pacific railcar last month has been removed from the water.

A barge was used with cabling to pull the machine from the lake late Wednesday afternoon.

“While they were moving it onto the barge, they did have a small amount of diesel fuel leak,” said Kevin Hrysak, media relations for Canadian Pacific.

“They did have the containment booms set up and environmental experts were on site from both Canadian Pacific and the Ministry of Environment.”

The leaked diesel fuel, believed to be about 100 litres, was contained and removed using absorbent pads.

The excavator plummeted into the water after falling off a railcar that was derailed by a rockslide.

The site is now completely cleaned.

Alistair Fraser has posted photos of the recovery on his blog, while Rob Wyatt of the Submerge scuba club has posted an underwater video on YouTube.

A second derailment at Corra Linn has also been cleaned up and the line re-opened.

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