Three crew die in CP grain train derailment

Canadian Pacific
(File photo by Dave Bedard)

Toronto | Reuters — Three crew members died on Monday when a Canadian Pacific Railway grain train derailed in British Columbia, a Transportation Safety Board (TSB) spokesman said.

The accident occurred when a train carrying 40 to 60 grain hopper cars derailed near Field, B.C., the TSB spokesman said.

TSB is investigating the cause of the derailment, the spokesman added. Employment Safety Standards Canada, the B.C. Coroners Service and RCMP are also investigating, RCMP said Monday.

Field is about 30 km west of Lake Louise, Alta. in the Rocky Mountains.

RCMP at nearby Golden, B.C. said they were called to investigate a possible CP derailment and found the train derailed near the Spiral Tunnels. CP said the derailment occurred at about 1 a.m. MT in between the Upper and Lower Spiral Tunnels, just east of Field.

Three people were found unresponsive and pronounced dead at the scene, RCMP said in a release.

CP CEO Keith Creel, in a statement Monday afternoon, identified the three railroaders as conductor Dylan Paradis, engineer Andrew Dockrell and trainee Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer.

“In the hours ahead we remain focused on employee safety and the safety of our first responders, in addition to working closely with the families of the deceased and all our employees,” Creel said in his statement Monday.

The incident, he said, “is under investigation and we will not speculate at this time on a cause — we owe it to those involved to get it right.”

The Spiral Tunnels, according to Parks Canada, were excavated in 1909 through the Kicking Horse Pass in what’s now Yoho National Park, to reduce a rail grade which until then exceeded the acceptable industry standard.

Creel said CP is working closely with Parks Canada and other agencies “to ensure the environment is not negatively impacted.”

Recovering at the crash scene, he added, “will be complex and challenging given the remote location and extreme weather, but with collaboration and communication, we will get there.”

Eight railway workers have died in Canada since November 2017, including Monday’s deaths, according to the Teamsters, one of the unions representing Canadian rail workers.

– Reporting for Reuters by Tyler Choi. Includes files from Glacier FarmMedia Network staff.

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