Skip to comments.Many missing after train explosion in Canada
Posted on 07/06/2013 5:43:57 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
One person has died and several people are reported to be missing after a train, believed to be carrying crude oil, derailed and sparked several explosion in the middle of a small town in the Canadian province of Quebec.
At least 30 buildings are believed to have been destroyed in the blast in Lac-Megantic on Saturday, and up to 1,000 people have been evacuated from the area.
The incident occurred shortly after 5 GMT when a freight train derailed in Lac-Megantic, a lakeside town of about 6,000 people near the border with Maine.
Although police said they could not yet get close enough to determine whether there were any casualties from the still-burning fires, an aerial photograph showed widespread devastation in the town centre.
Police Sergeant Gregory Gomez del Prado, speaking from Montreal, told Al Jazeera that the authorities are on the scene trying to contain the fire but have not yet been able to extinguish it.
"We do believe we have fatalities, and we are basically trying to get information from all the witnesses and also locate the missing people" he said.
He added that the provincial police were also concerned of the impact of the oil on the environment.
Al Jazeera's Daniel Lak, reporting from Lac-Megantic, said the explosion had taken place in an area including popular restaurants and cafes.
Our correspondent said that the train's crew had tied down for a crew change 11km down the track several hours before the train, without a driver, rolled in to town and derailed.
An eyewitness told a local broadcaster the town centre had been crowded at the time of the derailment. Radio-Canada reported one building at the centre of the town was a bar popular with young people.
"Many parents are worried because they haven't been able to communicate with a member of their family or an acquaintance," Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche told the local channel.
"We can't give out any information on what's happening right now because the firemen haven't been able to get close."
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said four pressurised tank cars blew up after the train, which had 73 cars in all, came off the rails. Residents told reporters they had heard five or six large blasts.
Fire officials said they feared more of the tanker cars were at risk of exploding. About 30 buildings in the town centre were destroyed, some by the initial blast and others by the subsequent fire, they said.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper made an initial statement via Twitter: "Thoughts & prayers are with those impacted in Lac Megantic. Horrible news."
Lac-Megantic is part of Quebec's Eastern Townships region, an area popular with tourists that is close to the order with Maine and Vermont. Quebec is a predominantly French-speaking province in the eastern half of Canada.
Our correspondent said that some residents and police have said that the oil may be spilling into the acqueducts and the river.
Trains carrying crude oikl are dangerous....Get the Keystone Pipeline approved OBAMA!!!....
We should transport all our oil like this. Much better than a pipeline. :(
Obama’s worried about the XL pipeline being carbon neutral.
How much carbon just got released by this runaway train?
does than mean what I think it means??? Tied down, as in abandoned????????
Rode through there on VIA Rail a quarter century ago en route to Halifax.
I thought I did a search...
All I know is that pipelines don’t derail.
Surely the Canadians know how to TIE DOWN a Train properly!!!
From Yahoo Answers
What does the railroad term tie down mean?
When a train crew says they are tying down in a place(train yard, building, city) what does that mean? Where did the term come from?
It means they are securing a train most likely because they are leaving it unattended.The term comes from tieing handbrakes on the cars and engines.You have to make sure that if the brakes are released the train won’t roll away. When we leave a train we leave the brakes set and the engines isolated anyways so it’s like extra insurance against bad things happening(like a runaway train).
The Canadian television reported that the train "was parked" and the two men who were operating had got off it. Human error or mechanical failure? Time will tell. Not too much to say from this corner except to repeat what was said on Canadian television. Also they mentioned crews hastened from the nearby State of Maine to help.
Do the Canadians have the same silly notion that our department of transportation has about drivers not driving more than 8 hours without a 16 hour rest or some silly such figure?
Whatever happened to the caboose, where some drivers slept while others drove?
Warren Buffett and Obama say you’re wrong!!!
It’s pipelines that kill people and all the critters in the ground!
That is long gone from the trains in the USA!
Cabooses were once used on nearly every freight train. Until the 1980s, laws in the United States and Canada required all freight trains to have a caboose and a full crew, for safety. Technology eventually advanced such that the railroads, in an effort to save money and reduce crew members, stated that a caboose was unnecessary and their use has since declined; they are seldom seen on trains, except on locals and smaller railroads.
They got rid of the caboose a long time ago. Technology and saves money not having to pay brakemen.
The caboose served a good purpose for more than 100 years.
Does anyone find it interesting that the source is Aljazeera?
in the news today, I see quite a few terrorist attacks
of course, none are be portrayed that way
If they explode like that, they aren’t filled with crude oil, they’re filled with LNG...
Much of the oil from the Bakken/Three Forks formations travels by rail because there isn't enough pipeline capacity, and some of that travels East to refineries. The effect has been the lowering of the price split between Brent and WTI, and a better market for US crude oil.
Pushing more oil through Cushing, OK likely will not have as good an effect on oil markets or feedstock prices.
I'm not sure where the oil on the train came from, but you can bet your bottom dollar the incident will be used to add restrictions on transport, even though it sounds like the wreck was from operator error (or lack of an operator). (The Obamites will seize any opportunity, anything to hurt the conventional energy industry, let no crisis go to waste).
In the meantime, may Our Almighty Father help all concerned who have suffered as a result of the wreck.
Yes, and that a "tied down" train went wandering into a popular district, derailed, and "pressurized" cars blew up (while that can happen, those cars are pretty stout).
Yep. And those have to get pretty hot or suffer some severe damage to rupture--they have venting in the event internal pressures get too high.
While valves can be torn off in a wreck, to have several cars explode seems a tad unusual.