Lac-Megantic Train Disaster

14 Jul 2013 10:23 AM | Deleted user
During the night of July 6th, a derailed train carrying crude oil caused explosions and a devastating fire in downtown Lac-Mégantic, Quebec.

Canadian Red Cross teams are actively responding to ensure that the needs of evacuees are being met. To donate, please click here.

As taken from a CBC news article:

[As of July 11th,] It is still not confirmed why the oil-tanker train that devastated the town of Lac-Mégantic, Que., was able to barrel down the tracks unattended. But it is not the only runaway train in Canada in recent years.

The federal Transportation Safety Board has published investigation reports of six major incidents involving a runaway train, or section of a train, between 2006 and 2012.

The Lac-Mégantic case, which involved a train operated by the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway, will be at least the seventh.

A common issue in these runaway cases is the braking systems, especially handbrakes. That is the mechanical device that forces the brake shoes against the wheel treads to prevent the wheels from moving, or to slow their motion.

The force on the wheels is proportionate to the force exerted by the person applying the handbrake.

Edward Burkhardt, the chairman of MMA, told reporters on Wednesday that "adequate hand brakes were not set on this train and it was the engineer's responsibility to set them."

He said that hand brakes were set on the locomotives and that the engineer, "told us he applied 11 handbrakes and our general feeling is, now, that that is not true."

For the full article please click here. For more current updates, please check CBC's homepage.

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