Skip to comments.Criminal probe into Canada train disaster
Posted on 07/09/2013 5:28:58 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
Canadian police have opened a criminal probe into a fatal oil train blast in the town of Lac-Megantic, following claims and counter claims by operators and firefighters over the causes.
Police also raised the death toll from Saturday's blast to 15 from 13 on Tuesday and said the total number of dead and missing people was 50.
Quebec police inspector Michel Forget told a news briefing that investigators have "discovered elements" that have led to a criminal probe. "Criminal negligence might be one of the leads we are looking at," he added.
The inspector ruled out terrorism.
Blackened debris, twisted metal and gas leaks have hampered the search for perhaps dozens of bodies after the runaway oil train smashed into the small lakeside town and incinerated much of its downtown.
(Excerpt) Read more at aljazeera.com ...
Before the investigation?
Talk about cart before the horse!
Canadians got the train? When did that happen?
Guess I'm not that familiar with freight trains.
Seems like a lot of folks.
And they don't even have cabooses any more.
Train derailed and ploughed into a crowded bar which caught
fire - most of the missing were in the bar
Eyewitness Bernard Theberge, 44, said about 50 people were inside the bar as the train approached, and he was outside on the terrace.
“There was a big explosion, the heat reached the cafe and then a big wall of fire enveloped the road.... It all happened so fast, in the space of a minute,” he said.
I still cannot credit my senses on this, but the news said he then got himself a hotel room. This presuming another relief would arrive. Again, almost beyond belief, but the tankers were parked on a downward incline. A small fire was observed on one of those engines later. The fire department arrived and put out the fire. They assured a representative of the railroad company who showed up, that they knew what they were doing.
So far the fire department people have not made an official statement, so one must take this with a pinch of salt. It is claimed that the fire department then shut off the one engine. About an hour later the brakes without power, failed to hold and the whole lot moved down track. It was doing sixty miles per hour, when it hit a curve in Le Megantic.
Our small rival cable outlet called Sun Media, while not making a positive statement, showed some blogs this evening. They were by eco-groups and one "Mohawk Warrior" group and threatened to screw things up by upsetting the railway system.
“”And they don’t even have cabooses any more. “”
The oil trains I have seen ALL have an old box car on the rear. I’m guessing it is in case they are rear ended.
George Westinghouse and Air-brake History
Fortunately I was only quoting what I had heard on the television.
I know, that bit of misinformation has been widely quoted. Media is full of crap.
As we were informed this AM here at FR, it was these resevoirs in each car, once the engine was shut off, that eventually bled off causing the brakes to release.
Also brought out this AM was that chocking the wheels would have prevented this.
The CEO from the train company blaming this on the firefighters, who may or may not have deliberately shut off the engine, is BS. It is understandable why they might have done so, since there had been a fire on it. The train company should have had someone qualified on the spot to take charge of it. In any case, even if the train brakes failed due to compressed air bleed-off after the engine was shut down, that shouldn’t have left the train able to roll away - there should have been manual brakes set on a sufficient number of cars to keep that from being possible. From everything I’ve read, it is absolutely not acceptable to depend on the air-operated service brakes on a train to hold it while parked.
That only leaves a couple of possibilities: a sufficient number of manual brakes were set on cars to hold the train, and they all failed (or were never tested after being set and weren’t actually sufficient to hold it), or someone deliberately released the manual brakes on all those cars, which would be sabotage.
I have the National Post newspaper of yesterday and learn that there are aspersions on the Nantes Fire Department by the railroad company. I take the liberty of quoting a small part of a rebuttal.
"are disputing company assertions that local firefighters powering down a locomotive in order to put out a small fire was all it took to send 73 oil cars hurtling toward Lac Megantic".
Nantes Fire Chief Patrick Lambert has spoken to the newspaper. (Reporters Tristin Hopper and Graeme Hamilton). What may or not be ominous, is that the Quebec Provincial Police (Surete) have closed off the area because of "a criminal investigation". What they do not say, is whether it would be criminal negligence, or something else even worse.
He set eleven hand brakes before going to his motel.
The executive stated that it was highly unlikely that the man performed these tasks. He threw him under the bus and said " it is unlikely that he will be working for us again".
It is hoped the investigators will be able to ascertain whether the brakes were set. Interesting that Freepers were ahead of the game on this one.
After viewing photos of the incineration I think the only body parts they’ll find will be teeth.