Runaway Train

Lac-Mégantic, Quebec was partially levelled by a massive oil explosion from a train that became detached from its locomotive and rolled into the downtown. The locomotive experienced a fire before the detachment from the oil laden cars.

Questions need to arise about the safety of unattended, automated locomotives.

” Everybody who didn’t make it back is dead,” predicted Frédérique Mailloux, a 38-year-old stay-at-home mom, who said six of her friends are missing. “I have cried every tear in my body.”

Mr. Théberge was on the outside patio in front of the café smoking a cigarette when the derailment happened. He heard the train coming and knew right away that something was wrong.

“It was going way too fast,” said Mr. Théberge. “I saw a wall of fire go up. People got up on the outside patio. I grabbed my bike, which was just on the railing of the terrasse. I started pedaling and then I stopped and turned around. I saw that there were all those people inside and I knew right away that it would be impossible for them to get out.

Mr. Théberge said he tried to go around front to help people escape “but there was just fire everywhere.”

“I just pedaled away, but I know a lot of people didn’t make it out. There were maybe 60 people inside. “This is a first. Smoking saved my life,” he said with a voice raspy from the heat and smoke. His right arm was bandaged for the second-degree burns.

At a tent at the corner of Frontenac and Lemieux streets in the afternoon, paramedics sat idly in the torrid heat with no one to help. Residents gathered to await news of survivors, which never came.

ADDED: An unattended train.

6 responses to “Runaway Train

  1. If you go to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s website, it indicates there are no job opportunities at this time, they have a staff of 220, and this is the agency charged with investigating air, marine and rail disasters such as the recent rail disaster in Lac Megantic.

    And what exactly is the purpose of Harper’s onsite tour of the disaster zone accompanied by an RCMP security detachment other than to gawk and pose for photos. He is not a qualified investigator and his presence will only impede the work of those who are. It would make as much sense to have Harper tour the crime scene of an ongoing homicide investigation, inasmuch as he is a declared adversary of all criminals other than those he appoints to office.

    It is about time we put an end to such foolish posturing, and if government leaders are concerned with public safety, give the agencies entrusted with such responsibility the proper resources and budget to pursue their mandate…

  2. Pingback: Harper’s “Public Event” “photo opportunity” (Cameras and photographers only) #cdnpoli | Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff

  3. That sheds a little more light on why the company’s official spokespersons couldn’t make up their minds on whether to call the guy who supposedly checked the train and put the brakes on, the conductor or the engineer. Some used one term and some used the other and there is a significant difference.

    Which led me to do a bit more research on radio-controlled locomotive systems, or remote controlled engines. It wouldn’t be a stretch to think there was in fact only one employee operating that train. What with the fire that broke out in one of the engines an hour or two before it somehow moved itself, it’s anyone’s guess what happened after that.

    One piece of the puzzle that would be useful is whether or not the operable locomotives were left running as well as unattended?

  4. Pingback: The Harper Government Must Be Right On Track #cdnpoli | Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff

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