April 23, 2014 4:50 pm

Canada to phase out old rail tankers in response to Quebec explosion

Watch above: The federal government hit the rail industry hard, in efforts to make transport safer in the wake of the Lac-Megantic disaster. Mike Le Couteur reports.

OTTAWA – The federal government is pulling 5,000 older tank cars off the rails immediately as it adopts the major rail safety recommendations of the Transportation Safety Board.

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt says the least crash-resistant of the older tank cars must be removed from the rails immediately.

READ MORE: Post Lac-Megantic, minimum 2-man crew needed for crude oil trains: US

She says older tank cars carrying crude oil and ethanol must be phased out or retrofitted within three years.

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Rail carriers will also be required to prepare emergency response assistance plans for shipments of all petroleum products, including everything for crude oil to diesel.

READ MORE: Lack of rail safety data leaving Canada at risk for future incidents: report

Emergency response is to be improved across the country through a task force involving municipalities, first responders, railways and shippers.

The actions are the latest response to last summer’s horrific derailment and fire in Lac Megantic that claimed 47 lives.

WATCH: NDP leader Thomas Mulcair highly critical of proposed rail safety reforms

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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