Skip to comments.Hope fading for 40 missing in Quebec train disaster, officials confirm five dead
Posted on 07/07/2013 3:19:54 PM PDT by Squawk 8888
LAC-MEGANTIC, Que. About 40 people are considered missing after the spectacular blaze and explosions that razed much of Lac-Megantic, increasing the likelihood that the number of fatalities could soar from the current official death toll of five.
I can tell you that we have met a lot of people .and what I can tell you is that about 40 people are considered missing, Quebec provincial police Lt. Michel Brunet told a news conference.
We have to be careful with that number because it could go up or down.
It is the first time police have gone public with an estimate since the derailment of a train carrying crude oil triggered Saturday mornings fatal events.
Brunet said two bodies were found overnight and another two on Sunday morning. The first body was discovered Saturday.
Police say a higher death toll is inevitable.
About 30 buildings were destroyed after tanker cars laden with oil caught fire shortly after 1 a.m. One of them is the Musi-Cafe bar where dozens of people were enjoying themselves in the wee hours of a glorious summer night. Most of the missing are believed to have been at the bar.
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalpost.com ...
“Leaving a train of estimated $8,000,000 value unattended seems like a poor carriage of fiduciary responsibility”
From what I read the train was “supposedly” tied down while they were waiting for another crew to take over. Obviously the train got loose and rolled down hill into the community where the derailment and disaster took place.
Were the train brakes used to the point of getting quite hot just before having the manual brakes put on at least some of the cars at the tie down location? If so, do cooling manual brakes on rail cars have a reduced braking force as all of the components cool down over the next hour or two?
How much did the Nantes FD screw with the locomotive that was on fire? The others? The rest of the train? The Nantes FD were the last authority at the top of the hill.
I am not seeing anything as to cause... was the power still coupled to the unit train? If not, the cut of cars would have had to have had the air bottled up before the cut... not likely.
I do recall seeing a video of the inferno... and in the foreground was the end on the unit train with End of Train device blinking away.
So... where was the power. I could dig around on the railfan boards, but would rather not. I have enough crude oil unit train derailments to contend with at the moment.
It's got to be either the Nantes FD or some saboteur.
Though I still can't comprehend how the tank cars got to town before the locomotives (which apparently never arrived) since that was the direction of travel of the train.
Though I supposed the locomotive that was supplying air ran out of fuel or stalled from some other reason. Locomotive control positions will be interesting.
The only thing I can imagine is that someone cut off the locos from the head of the train and parked them on a parallel track (There is a long siding just out of Nantes according to aerial photos) and then the tank car consist took off. Then the locos could have been moved part way to Lac Megantic behind the explosive materials.
Well, there was one mention of the locomotives being a few miles out of town. I had assumed that they were west of town, but it likely seems they are east of town and led the whole train through town where wile going at a higher speed than normal the tank cars started to derail while going over the switches located in town.
It’s likely uphill in both directions from the lake.
But someone managed to shut down the fifth locomotive unit, he said. Thats the one that maintained brake pressure to keep the train in place.
If the operating locomotive is shut down, theres nothing left to keep the brakes charged up, and the brake pressure will drop finally to the point where they cant be held in place any longer, Burkhardt said.
There are two ways to shut down the fifth unit: Theres an emergency lever on the outside of the locomotive that anyone wandering by could access. Or, there are a number of levers and buttons inside the unlocked cabin.
Both means were used, said Burkhardt."
Sounds like someone should have set the manual brakes on some of the tanker cars. Or leave the train in some low spot where it's uphill in both directions.
It'd be better to just keep the train going 24/7.
“According to the railway, the trains locomotive was shut down subsequent to the departure of the engineer, depriving the trains air brakes of the power needed to keep the load from careening downhill.”
I’m surprised these brake systems aren’t designed like trucks where the air keeps the brakes OFF. Failure of an air line or compressor would mean the brakes lock up.
“There are two ways to shut down the fifth unit: Theres an emergency lever on the outside of the locomotive that anyone wandering by could access. Or, there are a number of levers and buttons inside the unlocked cabin.”
This is crazy to have something like that with no security. How about if the diesel just stalls?
This company had better get out their checkbook.
" Joe McGonigle, a vice president at Montreal, Maine & Atlantic, said the train came loose in the early morning hours Saturday and started rolling down the tracks.
He said the trains engine was found about one kilometre from where the explosions took place."
It would make sense that all 5 locomotives came through town before the tank cars and with their lower center of gravity(?) and higher weight were able to make it through the switches with out derailing.
Once thederailled cars stopped pushing them, whatever brakes they may have had set could stop them from going uphill.
Which makes this sabotage / terrorism.
Yikes,very ugly indeed.
Not from what I’ve read. It’s the opposite. see post 33.
At any rate they should have been secured far better than they were including cranking down the manual breaks on the cars.
The rail line is going to lose their ass over this.
Start with the greenies.
Is there any suspicion that this is terrorism?