Lac-Megantic train explosion: Three charged in Quebec

Firefighters battle the blaze at Lac-Megantic (6 July 2013) The train rolled downhill for seven miles (11km) before derailing at Lac-Megantic

Related Stories

Three workers and a railway line will be charged with criminal negligence in the explosion that levelled a Quebec town last year, authorities have said.

Thomas Harding, Jean Demaitre and Richard Labrie, and the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway will be prosecuted, authorities said.

The 6 July blast occurred when dozens of rail tankers of crude oil came loose and crashed in Lac-Megantic.

The town was destroyed and 47 people were killed in the inferno.

Mr Hardin, the train's engineer, was arrested on Monday, as were Mr Demaitre, manager of train operations, and Mr Labrie, in charge of rail circulation that day. They are scheduled to appear in court in Quebec on Tuesday.

Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway is now defunct, after Canada suspended its operating licence in August.

The three men and the company each face 47 counts of criminal negligence causing death, Rene Verret of the Quebec prosecutor's office told the Montreal Gazette newspaper

The train with 72 tankers full of crude oil had been parked uphill from Lac-Megantic and was unattended when it rolled out of control downhill for seven miles (11km) into the town, then derailed.

Several tankers exploded, destroying 40 buildings.

The blasts destroyed a large area of Lac-Megantic and forced some 2,000 residents to flee their homes.

Before and after images  of Lac-Megantic

The company blamed Mr Hardin for failing to set enough hand brakes to keep the train from rolling.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More US & Canada stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Cerro RicoSatanic mines

    Devil worship in the tunnels of the man-eating mountain


  • Nefertiti MenoeWar of words

    The woman who sparked a row over 'speaking white'


  • Oil pumpPump change

    What would ending the US oil export ban do to petrol prices?


  • Brazilian Scene, Ceara, in 1893Sir Snapshot

    19th Century Brazil seen through the eyes of an Englishman


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • SailingGame on

    BBC Capital discovers why certain sports seem to have a special appeal for those with deep pockets

Programmes

  • European Union's anti-terrorism chief Gilles de KerchoveHARDtalk Watch

    Anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove on the threat from returning Islamic State fighters

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.