Thursday, June 25, 2015

Six former railway employees charged in 2013 Quebec oil derailment that killed 47

"Six former employees of the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway, including the train engineer and the top executive, face charges under the Railway Safety Act and Fisheries Act for their alleged roles" in the 2013 train derailment in Quebec that resulted in the deaths of 47 people, Eric Atkins and Verity Stevenson report for The Globe and Mail in Toronto. The bankrupt company has also been charged in what was Canada's worst rail disaster in modern times. The train was carrying crude oil from North Dakota to Maine. (Getty Images by Francois Laplante-Delagrave: Photo from July 6, 2013 of Quebec oil derailment)

"The charges come as a battle over a $430-million victims’ fund is being waged in Quebec court and almost a year after a Transportation Safety Board report on the disaster found that just seven handbrakes were set on the train," Atkins and Stevenson write. "The federal government said the accused failed to ensure that the brakes were properly set on the unattended train of 63 oil tank cars that rolled down a hill in the early morning of July 6, 2013, before crashing in a series of explosions that destroyed 40 buildings and killed people in their sleep or as they enjoyed a night out in the picturesque village."

"There are also environmental charges over the spillage of oil," Atkins and Stevenson write. "All of the accused are scheduled to appear in a Lac-Mégantic court on Nov. 12. The charges have not been tested in court." (Read more)

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