Faster emergency care could have saved train conductor’s life: transportation union

An aerial view of the train derailment near Ponton, Man. is seen on Sept. 15, 2018 in this handout photo. The Canadian Press / Transportation Safety Board of Canada

The union representing thousands of Canadians who work in the rail industry has asked Manitoba’s Chief Medical Examiner to call an inquest into the death of a 38-year-old train conductor who died and a 59 year-old engineer who was injured after a train derailed south of Thompson in September.

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The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, which represents 16,000 rail workers across the country, claims paramedics in a nearby town were not allowed to attend the scene.

“The conductor died as a broken bone bled out. No one knew when the incident happened. No paramedics were allowed to attend the site. The rescuers, despite their best efforts, did not have the equipment to cut these men out of the wreck efficiently,” states Roland Hackl, vice-president of Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, in the letter requesting the inquest.

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They union says it obtained a copy of the autopsy report that shows the conductor bled to death as a result of his injuries, which the union says, were survivable.

The letter filed says the crash was discovered by chance by a helicopter two hours after the derailment.

READ MORE: Derailed train that killed worker now leaking fuel into northern Manitoba river

The union claims the train’s engineer first saw paramedic treatment more than nine hours after help was called.

A statement from the Manitoba Chief Medical Examiner has been requested by Global News.

The Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the cause of the derailment.

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