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
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Just where this disconnection happened and at what speed could be a big part of the investigation.
If the train came through town at 40 to 50 mph and the disconnection happened right in town, the pile up could easily happen before the tail part of the train stopped.
They (including maybe the MMA engineer - who was already in town) pulled some 13 intact tank cars off the rear of the train and away from the fire at some point shortly after the event.
""Sometime after (the first conductor left), the train got loose," said McGonigle, who is vice-president of marketing for The Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway. "It travelled under its own inertia to the centre of the town."
The locomotive portion of the 73-car train actually detached half a mile outside of the small town, he added, but the cars carrying the oil kept on rolling. "
Another: "The detached back end of the train remains on the tracks, about 11 kilometres outside of Lac-Mégantic."
This makes no sense to me unless the locos derailed and got out of the way. If so, there'd be pics of wrecked locomotives.
The building collapse in Bangladesh got more coverage than this does, and Canada is right next door to us! It is bizarre.
If I had never lived back East I would never believe people would go to a nightclub that close to the railroad tracks.
The Musi-Cafe looked better than a lot of bars Old Ben partied at in his youth. That video though is just plain spooky in light of what happened.
It's stunning to see how useless the American media has become. The left-wing political bias is one thing, but to virtually ignore a story like this is absurd. It's like there's a conspiracy or something. This story is every bit as interesting and important as the San Francisco plane crash, but the American media won't cover Canada. I guarantee you the Canadian media isn't ignoring the plane crash story like the American media is ignoring the oil train explosion.
We know that one of our employees from our engineering department showed up at the same time to assist the fire department. Exactly what they did is being investigated so the engineer wasnt the last man to touch that train, we know that, but were not sure what happened, McGonigle said.
McGonigle said there was no reason to suspect any criminal or terror-related activity. "
“I still think it’s questionable to leave ~$8,000,000 of hazardous material next to the side of a road without adult supervision. It should be in a more secure place when parked at night.”
I understand your point. However, where do you park a train that is a mile long? 72 cars x 75’ long each, plus 3-4 engines = approx. 5700 feet.
Economics would seem to dictate that you don’t park it. Switch out the crew in a few minutes and be on your way.
Lots more at the site.
I also found some telling info about the brakes on these trains - you HAVE to have a running engine to maintain the air-brakes. Truck air-brakes are spring driven - they lock ON without any air pressure. Train brakes have no springs, and must be secured by hand without an engine.
This is from GTAFF in NP's Comment section:
Prayers up for the dead and missing, and God bless and succor their relatives and friends.
"The MMA employees inspected the train with us, he said. MMA told the leading fire officer that everything was okay, the fire was out, everything was secure, you guys can leave.
The locomotives power remained shut off, and the fire officer advised the railway employees that it could not be moved until the ruptured line was repaired.
When we left, there was a police officer and two employees of MMA [at the scene], he said."
Seems like the MMA should'a cut out the damaged unit (especially if it was the lead unit) and set it out. Put on the manual brakes on more cars than were already set. And sent out a repair crew or had the morning engineer tack the dead unit on the back.
So, slightly more info is needed, but it does sound like MMA's fault. Completely.
The anti-fracking crowd. The oil came from ND Brakken oil shale field— it was from fracking. If this is green terrorism they weren’t concerned about the “environmental” impact on a town like they seem to be about the ground water.
But then, back in the day (and still) these nasty people put spikes into trees to injure/kill loggers. So the forest can be “preserved” for... no one.
It isn't the fault of the drillers, nor the frac crews, nor the people who decided to ship light sweet crude by rail to refineries which would otherwise be importing their oil by tanker or barge, possibly from countries who are pals with AlQaida, and getting that oil a little cheaper than shipping it in from elsewhere.
Someone, something failed and wrecked the train. If people had an inkling of the hazardous substances which travel by rail, usually safely, most of them would have an underwear wrecking moment. Overall, safety records are pretty darned good, considering the tonnage carried and the miles traveled.
Those who blame the absence of the Keystone pipeline don't realize that the pipeline won't go East, it goes from north to south. The biggest reason trains are being used is that oil can get to refineries which might not have access to those feedstocks otherwise, and would be importing Arab Light or Brent instead of using North American (quite possibly Bakken/Three Forks) crude.
I can only offer my prayers for those who have lost their relatives, lives, or property,
At best someone screwed up, at worst, mass murder.
I suppose you could always haul it by truck (as most of the crude loaded on rail cars is, before it is loaded on the train).
Note remote control "caboose".
What I haven't seen yet is an over view or skyshot showing where the engines and any attached cars ended up, and why. The story is that they stopped a couple of clicks prior to the entry to the town.
I think that is clearly wrong. My guess is that the locos (incl the "caboose" ) and likely some tank cars made it through the switches, brakes to a stop on an up-rise and are south and east of town.
There's on the order of 50 tank cars in the pileup. Nine to 13 that were pulled off the rear of the train and taken back west yesterday. That would leave ~10 tank cars still with the locos.
The press has really mangled the story of where all the parts of the train ended up.
On that I agree fully! Along with all the folks who mistakenly thing train air-brakes are the same as truck air-brakes, discounting the lack of springs and assuming the air cylinders don't leak. I saw they have the "black boxes" for the units, so hopefully they will give a better indication of this debacle - assuming they function after the loco power goes out.
Many thanks for the links and information. :^)
"1:14 a.m. -- Train derails in Lac-Megantic. The locomotive detaches and continues through town for about a kilometre. (Well, it's any number of locos plus the remote control caboose. ) (pics show NO tank cars on the stern of the last loco.) Residents report a series of explosions, with fireballs shooting into the sky and a wall of flames pounding the town. The downtown core is eviscerated, with a bustling bar, the library, and a cherished waterside park among the dozens of structures destroyed."