This could be big. I’m not going to jump to any conclusions about who, what or why but authorities believe the train in Canada that has (so far) claimed 15 lives, was tampered with:
Canadian authorities have found evidence that a train that crashed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, was tampered with, provincial police Capt. Michel Forget said Tuesday.
There have been many questions about the train explosion that wiped out a swath of Lac-Megantic’s downtown, killing at least 15 people. As of Tuesday evening, 35 people were still missing, Forget said.
Investigators had earlier said that they are trying to figure out if the train’s brakes were disabled before it barreled at a dangerous speed into the Quebec town, derailed and burst into a deadly inferno.
Firefighters in the nearby town of Nantes put out a separate blaze on the train shortly before it crashed into Lac-Megantic early Saturday. Ed Burkhardt, chief executive officer and president of Rail World, the parent company of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, has told media outlets there’s evidence the engine powering the brakes was shut down at some point.
The train had already been on fire hours before the Saturday accident, Canadian broadcaster CBC reported, sourcing fire officials. Firefighters in the town of Nantes, 7 miles northwest of Lac-Megantic, extinguished a small blaze on the freight train.
When they left, the train was still parked where it was supposed to stay for the night, the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway said.
Earlier, the company said air brakes holding the train in place failed, allowing it to barrel downhill into Lac-Megantic. It was not clear if Rail World executive Burkhardt was suggesting to CTV that firefighters were responsible for disabling the brakes, but he told Reuters earlier that the brakes were disabled when firefighters shut down the engine powering them.
Investigators plan to check the brakes once the crumpled, burned tankers are accessible.
The train rolled into town much faster than a train under an engineer’s control would have.
“Usually they’re traveling between 5 and 10 miles an hour,” said Quebec police officer Benoit Richard. “On that night, this train was going at least between 30 and 40 miles an hour.”
Sonia Pepin recalls hearing the train like never before. The tracks are a few feet from her home, and her whole house shook, she said.
The question is going to be raised as to whether or not it was terrorism. We’ll find out at some point.