No matter occurred to… the Lac Megantic prepare derailment

Whatever happened to… the Lac Megantic train derailment


On this episode of the International Information podcast Whatever Happened To…?, journalist Erica Vella revisits the 2013 Lac Megantic train derailment.

Within the early hours of July 6, 2013, a prepare carrying petroleum crude oil crashed into the centre of Lac Megantic, a small city in Quebec.

The downtown core erupted in flames; 47 individuals perished, 2,000 individuals have been evacuated from their houses. The tragedy marks one of many worst rail disasters in Canadian historical past.

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Hours earlier than the derailment, Gilles Fluet had been on the Musi-Café, a preferred bar in downtown Lac Megantic.

Learn extra:
Irving-owned company, Southern Railway Ltd., pleads not guilty to safety violations in oil transport

“I used to be taking a tour of downtown, as I had been performed usually for years and round 9:30 p.m., I ended at Musi-Café — there have been two musicians I knew and who have been glorious. It was a celebration, there was a pleasant environment. So I spent the night there,” he mentioned.

Near midnight, Fluet mentioned he was able to name it an evening

“I began to consider going again dwelling. So, I did the rounds, mentioned bye to all my buddies,” Fluet mentioned.

“I took the sidewalk to stroll dwelling with a few buddies. We had simply crossed the monitor within the path of my home and the prepare handed 4 ft from behind me.”

Fluet mentioned he felt the sudden rush of air behind him and knew one thing wasn’t proper.

“Often, when a prepare passes via city, we hear a sort of decompression, the lights, horns, the noise of the brakes creaking; there was none of that,” he mentioned.

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“This was coming in at 105km/h. The time it took me to appreciate there was one thing taking place behind me, the 5 locomotives, the prepare’s again and the buffer had handed.

Learn extra:
Lac-Mégantic marks seventh anniversary of 2013 rail disaster with memorial site

“I noticed the faces of my buddies who have been about 30 ft from me. I had time to inform them to run, it’s going to blow. In my head, I knew it was going to blow. In simply half a minute, every part was over.”

 

The incident occurred at 1:15 a.m. on July 6, 2013, when a runaway prepare with 72 oil tankers — owned and operated by the now-bankrupt railway firm Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway Ltd. (MMA) — barrelled into the city at over 100 km/h.

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Learn extra:
Lac-Megantic trial: 3 men found not guilty of criminal negligence in train derailment that killed 47 people

Together with the 47 deaths, a lot of the city was additionally destroyed.

The Transportation Security Board launched an investigation into the derailment and located 18 elements led to the Lac-Megantic catastrophe, together with poor coaching, mechanical issues and sloppy security oversight, a Transportation Security Board (TSB) investigation concluded.

READ MORE: Public inquiry only way to get to bottom of Lac-Megantic disaster

Three males, Tom Harding, Richard Labrie and Jean Demaitre, have been charged following the derailment, however in 2018 a jury had discovered the lads not responsible.

On this episode of No matter Occurred To…, Erica Vella visits the city of Lac Megantic to talk with individuals who witnessed the tragedy over seven years in the past. She describes what the city seems to be like know and finds out if any adjustments have been made to make sure a derailment like this by no means occurs once more once more.

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— With information from and Rebecca Joseph. 

Contact:

Electronic mail: erica.vella@globalnews.ca

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