Report: Lax Safety Culture Contributed To Worst Rail Disaster In Canada’s History

Originally published on August 19, 2014 3:53 pm

A year after the worst rail disaster in Canada’s history, the country’s Transportation Safety Board has released a report detailing the findings of a year-long investigation into the accident in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, that killed 47 people and incinerated the downtown.

The report highlights 18 factors that contributed to the disaster, among them mechanical and human failures and a lax safety culture at the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway.

The train barreled, unmanned, down a hill on July 6, 2013, before jumping the tracks and bursting into flames. The report is the product of a year-long investigation. Some new regulations have already been put into place by Transport Canada, including risk assessments for routes used for dangerous shipments, as well as requirements for emergency response plans.

The CBC’s Dave Seglins talks to Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti about the report, and how it is being received.


  • Dave Seglins, reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). He tweets at @cbcdaveseglins.
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