WATCH: There are new charges in the Lac-Megantic tragedy, almost two years after a train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded, killing 47 people. Transport Canada says the brakes weren’t properly set before the train was left unmanned for the night. Mike Armstrong explains why additional charges are being laid now.
Transport Canada has laid new charges in the deadly train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec.
The new charges were laid under the Railway Safety Act and Fisheries Act and stem from a Transport Canada investigation which found an insufficient number of handbrakes were applied to the train, and those handbrakes weren’t properly tested.
There are also charges under the Fisheries Act for the crude oil which flowed into the nearby Chaudiere River following the accident.
Both Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Canada and Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway Ltd. are charged as well as six individuals.
The six accused include railway president Robert Grindrod, executives Lynne Ellen Labonte and Kanneth Strout, train driver Thomas Harding, manager of train operation Jean Demaitre and the company’s assistant transportation director, Mike Horan.
The six accused face two counts under the Railway Safety Act. If convicted, the companies could face up to $1 million in fines, and the individuals could face $50,000 in fines or six months in jail, for each charge.
None of the charges have been proven in court, and according to Transport Canada, not all of the accused have been served.
Train driver Tom Harding, railway traffic controller Richard Labrie and Jean Demaitre, the manager of train operations each face 47 counts of criminal negligence causing death – one for each victim of the July 2013 train derailment. They’ve pleaded not guilty.
The accused are set to appear in court on Nov. 12.
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