[QODLink]
Americas

Criminal probe into Canada train disaster

Police open investigation into deadly derailment in Quebec as dozens of bodies remain buried in ruins.

Last Modified: 10 Jul 2013 14:11
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
At least 15 people were killed and many more went missing after an oil train derailed at a speed of 63mph [EPA]

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 had also risen to 60 from 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.

Canada train crash scars small community

Investigators zeroed in on whether a blaze on the train a few hours before the disaster set off the deadly chain of events.

"This is a very risky environment. We have to secure the safety of those working there. We have some hotspots on the scene. There is some gas," said Benoit Richard, a Quebec police sergeant.

He said recovery efforts had to be halted briefly for health reasons on Monday, and some officers had to be removed from the scene, but did not elaborate.

The bodies that have been recovered were burned so badly they have yet to be identified.

The Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway train broke loose early on Saturday, speeding downhill nearly 11km and jumping the tracks at 63mph in Lac-Megantic, near the Maine border, investigators said.

All but one of the 73 cars were carrying oil and at least five exploded.

The blasts destroyed about 30 buildings, including the Musi-Cafe, a popular bar that was filled at the time, and forced about a third of the town's 6,000 residents from their homes.

354

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Featured
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
Deaths of 13 Sherpas in Nepal has shone a light on dangerous working conditions in the Everest-climbing industry.
Al Jazeera investigation uncovers allegations of beatings and rape in Kenya's ongoing anti-terrorism operation.
Incumbent Joyce Banda has a narrow lead, but anything is possible in Malawi's May 20 elections.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
join our mailing list