February 5, 2019 11:21 am
Updated: February 5, 2019 9:33 pm

Parked train started moving on its own before fatal B.C. derailment, TSB says

WATCH: The investigation into a deadly train derailment near Field, B.C., is revealing disturbing details about what the final moments were like for the Canadian Pacific rail employees on-board. The Transportation Safety Board says the train started rolling on its own before it left the tracks. Jill Croteau reports.

A A

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) says a train that derailed near Field, B.C. on Monday, killing its three-person crew, began moving on its own.

The train was travelling west to Vancouver when it derailed near the Alberta-B.C. border at around 1 a.m. M.T., claiming the lives of conductor Dylan Paradis, locomotive engineer Andrew Dockrell and conductor trainee Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer. All three men were from Calgary.

READ MORE: 3 Calgary men killed in CP Railway train derailment near Field, B.C. identified

At a Tuesday morning news conference, TSB senior investigator James Carmichael said Canadian Pacific Railway (CP Rail) train 301 had been stopped with air brakes applied at Partridge, the last station before the entrance to the Upper Spiral Tunnel, for about two hours when “the train began to move on its own.”

WATCH: TSB preliminary findings say ‘loss of control’ possible cause of B.C. train derailment.

“A change-off between crews had occurred at this station as the previous crew was closing in on their maximum hours of service,” he said. “The ‘occurrence crew’ had just arrived and boarded the train but were not yet ready to depart.

“We’re going to try and determine why the brakes didn’t stay in place.”

WATCH: TSB investigators navigating extreme cold and steep terrain at fatal train derailment site

Carmichael explained there were no handbrakes applied on the train while it was stopped.

“The train then accelerated to a speed well in excess of maximum track speed of 20 miles per hour (32 kilometres per hour) for the tight curves and steep mountain grade — and the train derailed.”

Carmichael said they don’t know the exact speed the train was travelling when it derailed.

WATCH: Train was stopped for 2 hours then moved on its own prior to deadly derailment

The train was composed of 112 covered hopper cars and three locomotives positioned at the front, middle and rear of the train. In total, 99 cars and two locomotives derailed.

After the crash, only 13 of the train cars remained on the tracks. The lead locomotive and some of the cars derailed on a curve before a bridge, coming to rest in a creek. Several of the derailed cars came to rest on an embankment. The remaining cars, including the mid-train locomotive, piled up behind.

WATCH: James Carmichael from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada issued a statement Tuesday on its investigation into a train derailment that killed three workers.

Event recorder data from the lead locomotive isn’t yet in the possession of the TSB as the locomotive was severely damaged. Some data has been recovered from the tail-end locomotive and work is underway to get data from the mid-train locomotive.

“It is too early to say what the causes and contributing factors to this accident might be,” Carmichael said.

Two TSB investigators remained at the site of the derailment Tuesday to collect data, examine the wreckage and conduct interviews.

WATCH: Train starting moving before getting clearance: TSB

Victims being remembered as loving family men

As condolences, messages of support and monetary donations pour in for the victims, their families are remembering them as men who lived life to the fullest and loved their families.

Waldenberger-Bulmer’s twin brother, Jeremy, also worked at CP Rail as a conductor and said his career is what led Daniel to become a trainee. He said his brother started with CP in November and “loved the job so far.”

“We had big plans of living out our careers with CP Rail and retiring together to golf all over the world,” he said.

Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer and his twin brother Jeremy are pictured in an undated photo.

Contributed

“Daniel lived an amazing life,” Jeremy said, adding that “half of me is gone now.”

“He got to experience a lot of things in the short time he was with us,” Jeremy said. “He always lived his life to the fullest. He has so many friends that are going to miss him.”

WATCH: Aerial footage shows the extent of the damage after a fatal train derailment near Field, B.C.

Paradis’ family is remembering him as a man who loved his children and family, and said he had an “infectious” smile and “contagious” laugh.

“Our Dylan was an amazing person,” his wife, Jennifer Paradis, said in an emailed statement.

“He was quick-witted, loving, intelligent, gracious and grounded.”

Dylan Paradis, one of three killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., is pictured with his family.

Contributed

“The sun would rise and set with his daughters and I was lucky to feel his love every day,” Jennifer said. “I will be forever grateful for our beautiful marriage and he will be missed terribly by his loving family and friends.”

A GoFundMe account has been set up to raise money for the families of the three men killed.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error

Comments

Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.