Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Deadly VIA Train Derailment Cleanup

The Black/Orange Box has been recovered from the deadly VIA Train accident in Burlington, Ontario even as the cleanup and investigation continues days later.
CN Freight Train passes through the incident area

King Road was closed by police at the level railway crossing to allow heavy equipment access to the accident site where VIA Commuter Train number 92 was switching tracks and derailed on Sunday, February 26, 2012.
King Road looking south towards rail crossing
Some of the six cars ended up hitting the adjacent buildings, with the engine ending up in the deep ditch that border both sides of the tracks. The work requires that GO Transit restrict their Lakeshore West Line passage through the corridor, check their website for further updates.


My YouTube video of the accident cleanup site

Three VIA engineers, including one trainee, died in the accident which happened near the busy King Road crossing (see the A arrow).

View Larger Map


More photos and the police and VIA news releases follow the jump.

Halton Regional Police look for all VIA passengers.

For Release: February 27, 2012
Originator: Sergeant Paul DAVIES, Collision Reconstruction Unit (CRU), 905.825.4747 ext 5245
Contact: D/Constable Det.Cst. Chris HEFFERNAN, CRU, ext. 5420
Location: Burlington, ON
Appeal to Outstanding Via Passengers
Halton Regional Police are appealing to any outstanding passengers who were onboard the Via rail train during Sunday’s incident, and who may have departed the scene by means of private transportation, to contact police.

Investigators are in possession of the passenger manifest and would like to ensure the condition and current location of those passengers. All passengers taken to area hospitals or who received treatment at the scene have been noted and reconciled with the manifest. However the current whereabouts of approximately one dozen passengers is unknown as they left the scene using their own mode of transportation.

Passengers in this category may contact Halton Regional Police investigators at ext. 5065.
VIA Feb 27, 2012 update.
–Three deceased crew members identified –

–-VIA expresses condolences, says “we will find out what went wrong” –
– VIA operations update for Monday –
Montreal – VIA Rail Canada has issued an update with respect to VIA Rail Canada train number 92, en route from Niagara Falls to Toronto that was involved in an accident at approximately 3:30pm local time yesterday in Burlington, Ontario.

There were 75 passengers and five crew members on board the train at the time of the accident, in which all six cars of the train derailed.. There were numerous injuries to passengers and three fatalities, all VIA crew members who were in the locomotive at the time of the accident. They were Ken Simmonds, 56 years old, and Peter Snarr, 52 years old, both from Toronto, and both with more than 30 years of service as locomotive engineers with CN and VIA. The third was Patrick Robinson, 40 years old, of Cornwall, Ontario, a new VIA employee who was on board as an observer as part of his familiarization program.

“This is a truly heart-rending situation for all of us at VIA. Our sincerest condolences go out to the family members of our employees who died in the line of duty yesterday, and our thoughts and prayers to those passengers who were injured,” said Marc Lalibert√©, VIA’s president and chief executive officer. “Last night, we immediately began to investigate the accident in order to determine the cause or causes, and will continue until we find out what went wrong, and have put in place measures to prevent any such recurrence. We will be offering our full collaboration to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada and Transport Canada in their inquiries, and will be working in concert with local authorities and CN, the track owner.”

Three passengers were airlifted to hospital with serious injuries, including a broken back, a broken leg and a heart attack. 42 other passengers and one crew members were taken to local hospitals. All but nine of these had been released by shortly after midnight.

Anyone seeking information about passengers who may have been on this train may call a special number set up for this purpose, at 1-888-842-6141.

VIA trains today will continue to be detoured or replaced by chartered bus service on the Toronto-Niagara Falls and Toronto-London-Windsor routes. Passengers travelling in south-western Ontario today can check on the status of their train at 1-888-VIA-RAIL (888-842-7245) or at viarail.ca.
The original VIA news report.

Reports of numerous passenger injuries
Three crew fatalities
Montreal – VIA Rail Canada train number 92, en route from Niagara Falls to Toronto, was involved in an accident at approximately 3:30pm local time today. The incident occurred in the Aldershot, Ontario area.

There were 75 passengers on board the train at the time of the accident. There are reports of several injuries to passengers and three fatalities, all VIA crew members who were in the locomotive at the time of the accident.

There were one locomotive and five cars on the train, all of which derailed. Emergency services were on the scene shortly after it occurred and are attending to those requiring their assistance.

Three passengers were airlifted to hospital with serious injuries. 42 other passengers and one crew members were also taken to local hospitals.

All other passengers have been removed from the train and are either en route to Toronto or will be shortly.

The cause of the accident is not known at this time. VIA will collaborate fully with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, which is investigating.

Anyone seeking information about passengers who may have been on this train may call a special number set up for this purpose, at 1-888-842-6141

Other VIA trains will be affected due to the tracks being blocked at the scene of the accident. Passengers travelling in southwestern Ontario later today can check on the status of their train at 1-888-VIA-RAIL (888-842-7245) or at viarail.ca.

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