Answers in Quebec Train Blast May Be Months Away
Toll now at 33, with another 17 presumed dead
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2013 5:24 PM CDT
Wecked oil tankers and debris from the runaway train in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada.   (AP Photo/Surete du Quebec, The Canadian Press)

(Newser) – While the world's attention has now moved to a different train wreck in France, the aftermath of the train blast in Quebec last week worsens, with the official death toll now at 33 after five more bodies were found. Another 17 are presumed dead, bringing the total to 50. The bells of a church in the town of Lac-Megantic, where the disaster occurred, chimed 50 times today to honor their memory, the Canadian Press reports.

The chair of the Canadian Transportation Safety Board says the crash "may well be the most devastating rail accident in Canadian history" and that it will take "months or more" to determine exactly what went wrong, reports the National Post, before going on to nevertheless break down what is believed to have gone down that night. Fingers are still being pointed at the conductor for allegedly not applying enough brakes to secure the 10,000-tonne load of crude oil while he went to sleep in a nearby hotel, as well as firefighters, who shut down the lead locomotive after putting out a small fire, which could have decreased the air pressure in the brakes that were on.

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Showing 3 of 7 comments
Rammrodd
Jul 13, 2013 7:46 PM CDT
Exactly why we need more pipelines & fewer trains. This tragedy is on Al Gore, Robert Redford, & all goonie greenies.
backpath2
Jul 13, 2013 7:26 PM CDT
The real cause of this disaster is the decision to leave a trainload of light crude all by itself, with nobody to keep an eye on the locomotives or the tank cars. Had the engineer or a carman stayed with the train, he could have stopped the loss of air in the braking system by starting one of the five diesels, and/or he could have applied additional hand brakes, or chocked the wheels. An unattended train is an accident waiting to happen.
No-Left-Turn
Jul 13, 2013 5:28 PM CDT
"air pressure in the breaks that were on." When you lose air pressure in your brakes, those are the breaks.