Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

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Re: Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

Postby MEC407 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:38 am

From the Portland Press Herald:

Portland Press Herald wrote:Irving Oil Commercial GP of Canada was ordered by a New Brunswick court on Thursday to pay $4 million Canadian after it pleaded guilty to 34 violations of the country’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, stemming from the Maine-based Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd. train derailment and explosion that killed 47 people in the town of Lac Mégantic, Quebec, on July 6, 2013.
. . .
After the deadly 2013 incident, a joint investigation by Transport Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police revealed that Irving Oil failed to comply with safety requirements regarding the classification of dangerous goods for the crude oil it transported by train, and that the shipping documents on board the train were erroneous. The company also failed to adequately train its employees in the transportation of dangerous goods, investigators said.


Read the rest of the article at: http://www.pressherald.com/2017/10/27/i ... erailment/
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Re: Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

Postby kilroy » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:29 pm

$400,000 for 34 violations? Really?? That works out to just over $11,750 per violation. That's a real deterrent.
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Re: Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

Postby deathtopumpkins » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:00 pm

$4,000,000, not $400,000. So $117,647 per violation.
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Re: Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

Postby MEC407 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:13 pm

Some clarification:

Portland Press Herald wrote:The Saint John Provincial Court ordered Irving Oil to pay $400,000 in fines and $3.6 million for the implementation of transportation safety research programs, according to a Public Prosecution Service of Canada news release.


The actual fines are $400,000; the remaining $3.6 million isn't technically a fine. I'm not sure if that would be considered punitive damages being paid to the government, or what exactly...

Regardless, this is barely a pin prick for a company like Irving Oil. The company is privately held, but they're estimated to be worth about $10 billion.
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Re: Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

Postby Zeke » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:27 am

CBC is reporting via the BLE-T.org web site the cab driver who transported MMA engineer Harding has been testifying. He stated that he become concerned about the lead locomotive slinging oil and that Mr. Harding's shirt was spotted with oil droplets. He also testified that the large volume of oil aloft could eventually cover the adjacent highway leading to a road hazard. Harding replied that MMA management told him to leave the lead unit running and if it threw enough oil it would trip the low oil engine shut down protection. Mr. Harding also allegedly stated that one of the MMA supervisors was related to someone at The Ministry of Environment and that MMA was never checked for environmental issues. It was also revealed the cab driver was a disgraced police officer that had recently been fired for theft under 5000 dollars.FWIW
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Re: Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

Postby Zeke » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:41 am

CBC is reporting the Crown prosecutor has rested the case and it appears it will go to the jury on Monday January 8. The three ex MMA employees, including Engineer Harding, did not testify on their own behalf. It does not look good for the three and I expect a stretch in jail may be in their future.
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Re: Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

Postby trainiac » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:57 pm

This just in: The three former MMA employees on trial for the Lac Mégantic disaster have been acquitted. The subtitle from an article in the National Post sums it up:

The jury decided the defendants could not be made scapegoats for what defence lawyers always maintained was a much larger failing.


CBC article:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/ ... -1.4474848

National Post article:
http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/for ... ntic-trial
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Re: Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

Postby FarnhamHogger » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:39 pm

Just my humble opinion but I feel that the jury got this right.
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Re: Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:26 pm

Great News!

If the Canadian Judiciary is looking to convict someone in this matter, here's where to find him:

http://www.railworldinc.com

However, certainly there is no extradition treaty covering such in place, as it would have been done so long ago.
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Re: Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

Postby Cowford » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:35 pm

Some clarification, please. Obviously, the train was not tied down properly prior to Mr. Harding going off-duty. Was it that they found his negligence was not "criminal", that the MMA rules did not clearly specify proper securement procedures, he was not adequately trained or something else?
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Re: Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

Postby gokeefe » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:44 pm

There's no clarity from the verdict. However the press appears to think that MMA procedure was not clear and that even if there was some negligence on his part it didn't rise to a criminal standard.
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Re: Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:59 pm

Pardon me while I "go and throw up":

TRAINS Newswire

Fair Use:

The seasoned rail investor takes issue with Canadian government findings that the railroad lacked a safety culture and laid blame squarely on Thomas Harding, the MM&A engineer who failed to apply an adequate number of handbrakes on the train before leaving it unattended.

"I always thought that safety was one of the priorities as a rail manager," Burkhardt tells Trains. "Whatever you do, we proved that it wasn't sufficient. It just means doubling down and learning from mistakes
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Re: Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

Postby Ridgefielder » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:01 pm

Cowford wrote:Some clarification, please. Obviously, the train was not tied down properly prior to Mr. Harding going off-duty. Was it that they found his negligence was not "criminal", that the MMA rules did not clearly specify proper securement procedures, he was not adequately trained or something else?

Canada is like the United States. The Crown would have to prove *beyond a reasonable doubt* that the actions of Harding and the others were things that someone with knowledge of railroad operations would find careless and likely to lead to loss of life.

Based upon the pages and pages of this forum debating things like the proper number of handbrakes that should be applied to tie down a train I think it's clear that people disagreed. This isn't a clear-cut case of a guy running a "stop" signal while drunk and fouling the path of a passenger train or something.
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Re: Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

Postby JimBoylan » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:06 pm

Excerpts from https://www.progressiverailroading.com/federal_legislation_regulation/article.aspx?id=53879&utm_source=featuredrightcol
Six former employees of the Montreal Maine & Atlantic Canada Co. and the Montreal Maine & Atlantic Canada Railway Ltd. (MMA) pleaded guilty to violations of the Railway Safety Act in connection with the July 2013 train disaster in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Transport Canada announced Monday.
Specifically, the six pleaded guilt to the contravening rule 112(b) of the Canadian Rail Operating Rules by failing to ensure that a sufficient retarding force was present to prevent equipment from moving after applying handbrakes.
Five of the accused were fined CA$50,000 each, for a total of CA$250,000, which is the maximum fine allowed under the law. The sixth was sentenced to a conditional prison sentence of six months, the maximum.
According to CBC News, the six individuals and their titles are: Robert Grindrod, chief executive officer and president; Lynne Labonte, general manager of transportation; Kenneth Strout, director of operating practices; Michael Horan, assistant director of operations; Jean Demaitre, operations manager; and Tom Harding, engineer.
Harding was sentenced to the sixth-month term, which will be served in the community, according to CBC News.
Last month, Harding, Labrie and Demaitre were each found not guilty of one count of criminal negligence in the 47 deaths.
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Re: Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:01 pm

Mr. Boylan, I presume that "Harding was sentenced to the sixth-month term, which will be served in the community, according to CBC News" means something resembling probation or suspended sentence and so long as the nose stays clean, he is free to go about his life.
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