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Canadian Pacific beefs up safety procedures following Lac-Megantic disaster

Workers at the crash site of the train derailment and fire Tuesday, July 16, 2013 in Lac-Megantic, Que. that left 37 people confirmed dead and another 13 missing and presumed dead.
Workers at the crash site of the train derailment and fire Tuesday, July 16, 2013 in Lac-Megantic, Que. that left 37 people confirmed dead and another 13 missing and presumed dead. Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press - Pool

CALGARY – A Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. spokesman says the Calgary-based company is strengthening some of its safety procedures following the fatal disaster in Lac-Megantic, Que., caused by a runaway train owned by Montreal, Maine & Atlantic – a small U.S. railway company.

Search crews have found the remains of 38 people, with another 12 missing and presumed dead after a train carrying crude oil derailed in Lac-Megantic and exploded July 6, triggering a massive blaze that engulfed much of the downtown core.

In an e-mail to Global News, the Canadian National Railway said the rail accident at Lac-Mégantic is “being thoroughly investigated by federal authorities to determine exactly what went wrong and what needs to be done to prevent such accidents in the future” and that it has “commenced a review of all train securement measures in the aftermath of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy to further strengthen its safety policies.”

CN also noted that it currently has in place “robust train securement policies that are anchored on multiple safety defences.”

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The rail accident at Lac-Mégantic is being thoroughly investigated by federal authorities to determine exactly what went wrong and what needs to be done to prevent such accidents in the future. As CN’s review and the TSB investigation are ongoing, it would be premature for CN to offer further comment at this time.

READ MORE: Is Lac-Megantic disaster site becoming morbid tourist attraction?

The fallout from the disaster has stretched well beyond the town limits of Lac-Megantic.

The company involved in the deadly train derailment has laid off one-quarter of its workforce in Quebec.

The United Steelworkers Union says the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway has laid off 19 of its 75 Quebec workers.

READ MORE: Railway involved in Lac-Megantic disaster lays off quarter of Quebec staff

An MMA railway official says they intend to rehire the employees when the line that goes through Lac Megantic is re-opened.

The Quebec government has already set up a $60-million emergency fund and begun doling out $1,000 cheques to people stranded by the crisis.