News release

Lac-Mégantic update

Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, 12 July 2013—The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has launched a full investigation into the tragic train derailment on 6 July 2013 in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. TSB Chair Wendy Tadros visited the area today to meet with community leaders and area officials to express sympathy and explain the TSB's investigation process.

Stressing that her organization's goal is to find out what happened, why it happened, and what needs to be done to prevent it from happening again, Tadros vowed a 360-degree, top-to-bottom search for answers, adding that the independent federal agency now had some 20 experts on scene. She said that the TSB had carried out hundreds of rail investigations over the past two decades—experience which would prove invaluable in the days and weeks to come.

“Our hearts go out to the families and to all those who lost friends and loved ones. This is an incredibly complex investigation: We're looking not just at the train and its operation, but its weight, the grade and the track, and the regulatory oversight. We will examine every piece of evidence, interview every witness, and apply the full strength of our collective expertise—all to ensure this community, and all Canadians, get the answers they need.”

The Chair of the TSB explained that her agency is still in the first phase of the process, and that no-one would be making premature conclusions.

 “We understand that the community is anxious for answers, but there are many questions we still need to ask. We must not rush to conclusions if we want to make our transportation system safer. We need to gather, validate and analyze a mountain of information,” Tadros added. “If along the way we discover urgent safety issues, we will act quickly to make them known, so that Transport Canada and the rail industry can take immediate action.”

Visit the active investigation page for more information about this accident.

See the presentation by TSB Chair Wendy Tadros.

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