Three employees charged in Quebec railway disaster arraigned and released on bail

Three railway employees arrested in the runaway oil train explosion that killed 47 people were in court Tuesday. They face criminal negligence charges in the small Quebec town that was devastated by the horrific inferno, which led to calls for making oil trains safer across North America.
By BENJAMIN SHINGLER Published: May 13, 2014
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In brief

Rail workers face charges

Three railway employees arrested in the runaway oil train explosion that killed 47 people were arraigned and released on bail Tuesday. They face criminal negligence charges.

The men were arrested Monday afternoon, about 10 months after more than 60 tankers carrying oil from North Dakota came loose in the middle of the night, sped downhill for nearly seven miles and derailed in the lakeside town of Lac-Megantic in eastern Quebec, near the border with Maine. At least five of the tankers exploded, leveling about 30 buildings, including a bar that was filled with people.

The Quebec provincial prosecutor’s office laid 47 counts of criminal negligence, one for each person who died, against engineer Thomas Harding, manager of train operations Jean Demaitre, and traffic controller Richard Labrie. Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway Ltd., the defunct railway at the heart of the disaster, faces the same charges.

Associated Press