Lax safety measures to blame for Lac-Mégantic tragedy, safety board says – by Allan Woods (Toronto Star – August 20, 2014)
The Toronto Star has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada identified 18 distinct factors that led to the Lac-Mégantic rail crash, including mechanical problems, unsuitable tank cars carrying crude oil, the cost-conscious rail firm and human error.
MONTREAL — Blame a rule-breaking rail company, blame ineffective train inspectors, but don’t blame the federal government for the deadly Lac-Mégantic train disaster, says Federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt.
In the wake of a scathing report into the July 2013 derailment that killed 47 people in the Quebec town, Raitt pointed the finger at three employees of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic railway now charged with criminal negligence, and referred questions about lapses leading to the accident to bureaucrats under her command.
“We need to remember that in terms of safety, the government puts the rules in place. The companies are expected to follow the rules,” Raitt said in Ottawa. “The company did not follow the rules and that’s a very important fact here too.”
The Transportation Safety Board’s definitive account of the incident said the crash was caused by a marginal rail company that put profits before safety during more than a decade in business. Read the rest of this entry »