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02/26/2012

Burlington Via Rail train derailment in photos

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Aerial pictures from the scene show the train zigzagged off the tracks, with one car flipped onto its side after sliding into a nearby building. RICK MADONIK/TORONTO STAR

 

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Emergency crews attend to the scene not long after the incident. CARLOS OSORIO/TORONTO STAR

 

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A police officer stands near wreckage from the train, which derailed near Plains Road and King Road in Burlington. CARLOS OSORIO/TORONTO STAR

 

CO-Derail08Emergency crews worked to pull an estimated 60 passengers who were trapped in the wreckage and three air ambulances were on scene. CARLOS OSORIO/TORONTO STAR

 

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Chief Operating Officer of VIA Rail John Marginson speaks to the media. CARLOS OSORIO/TORONTO STAR

 

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An aerial view of the crash site. RICK MADONIK/TORONTO STAR

 

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A man consoles a woman on a GO bus that was sheltering passengers near the site of the train derailment. CARLOS OSORIO/TORONTO STAR

 

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Bystanders linger near the command post. Three of the passengers who were hurt have been airlifted to hospital with severe injuries. One has a broken leg, another suffered a heart attack and the third has a back injury. CARLOS OSORIO/TORONTO STAR 

 

CO-Derail11Reports from inside the train scene describe a frantic scene with passengers falling over each other. CARLOS OSORIO/TORONTO STAR

 

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Another view of the train from the air. RICK MADONIK/TORONTO STAR

 

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The train, viewed from the air, as emergency crews continue to work at the locomotive in front. RICK MADONIK/TORONTO STAR

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My heart goes out to all of Canada's Via Rail family....I am so sorry to hear about this tragedy... My thoughts and prayers are with all the injured, and those who have been lost...it's a very sad time. ( I have always loved taking Via Rail everywhere in Canada)

I'm really confused by the reporting.

It's saying 5 passenger cars for just 60 people.

The numbers seem wrong on this.

Great photos!

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone. May God Bless you all!

As trains are 'creatures of inertia', in the future it would be helpful to have photos showing the track to the rear and particularly ground-level shots.

We live in an era of corporate cost saving. I hope that reductions in track maintenance were not the problem here. If lack of track maintenance contributed to this tragic event, then the railways need to survey their entire track network for potential problems.

Condolences to the families of the deceased, and best thoughts for the recovery of those who were injured.

As an former Via Rail employee,(Depot Car foreman) as i heard about the derailment..around 1600hrs yesterday, my heart soak thinking my wife and i spoke to the hugger lastweek in Niagara Falls, and nowing seeing and hearing about the sad events tht happen. i know John has a very difficute job, tyring to figure out what happen to the crew and equipment,.I know we take pride in our equipment and how safe it is to travel. We all feel the lost of life and our hearts and prayers go out to crew and passengers who where on train #92 from Niagara. When i say Via Rail equipment is well maintained, and the employees as well trained in this field in making sure that the equipment is Very Safe to Travel....And the Supervisors know thier equipment.....Rest assure this is something we all feel as employees of Via Rail tht we do take alot of pride in making sure tht the equipment is safe to travel...God Bless Michael Hew

Were those who were seriously injured (particularly the three who were most seriously hurt) in the first car and trapped for hours? Or were they some of the "lucky" 15 that weren't trapped inside?

To the previous poster that said something about the number of cars and number of passengers, I do not see nothing wrong with this. Passengers get on and off the train at various stops, also this particular train may have been scheduled to change to another VIA route once it reached Toronto, thus requiring the five cars.

The thing that just occured to me, and does now raise a concern in light of this crash and, as I said earlier, people get on and off at different points during the trains voyage to Toronto, is the fact that any safety information about the train, including the location of emergency exits etc. are only announced at the original point of departure. In this case, it wouuld have been in Niagara Falls. However, I know this train also stops in St Catherines, Grimsby as well as Aldershot. So anyone getting on the train after Niagara Falls would not have heard any safety announcement at all. Maybe this is something that should be looked at as well.

I say this despite the fact that train derailment are not common thank goodness, but maybe it would have assisted some passengers after the accident. Although I have not read or seen any report that suggests that people did not know how to get out of the train, I do notice in the photos that not many emergency exits are open on the car that is flipped on its side, and the main door of the car is also closed... Makes me wonder how those people were evacuated after it flipped onto its side.

I will be on board a VIA train on Wednesday that will stop at, and pass by Aldershot. I have no fear in taking the train, but will say a prayer on departure of Aldershot for the 3 that did not survive this accident.

Often cars are not used on the train, for a part. This train was most likely becoming another train getting into Toronto
and then would have the 5 cars 5, going to Montreal.

This really does not make sense! I know something about railroading. I truly cannot believe that three professionals totally ignored two sets of signal indications prior to switching to an unusual track. No true engineer would have not seen the proper signal indications. I know that they whistled to the track crew so they knew that there was a crew working on the tracks but the train crew would depend on the signal indications as to the speed they should enter the interlocked switch tracks. They may have been told by the dispatcher that this would occur but this corridor is very busy and possibly the dispatcher could not have had the time to tell them. Either way they would have taken the signal indication as gospel. No brakes at all! Hard to see switch position until too late. Either at least two of these guys were unconscious or the signals were not correct. I know from experience that these are new signals and on the bleeding edge of technology. Why do the computer records of the time of the accident not showing what the signals were set for when all of this took place? I am still a bit confused.

Jack Kertzie

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