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Are the right people on trial for Lac-Mégantic train catastrophe?

Three males are presently on trial in the Lac-Mégantic train derailment that killed 47 people and destroyed a lot of the small Quebec city on July 6, 2013.

Former Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway Ltd. (MMA) train engineer Tom Harding, railway visitors controller Richard Labrie and supervisor of train operations, Jean Demaitre, are charged with 47 costs of prison negligence inflicting demise.

READ MORE: Lac-Megantic’s Musi-Cafe rises from the ashes

“People have moved on,” mentioned Lac-Mégantic director-general Marie-Claude Arguin.

“I might be in trouble for saying this, but are the right people on trial? I don’t know.”

Residents from the small city say they only wish to transfer on with their lives.

Jean Paradis instructed Global News on the night time of the accident, he was inside the Musi-Café.

He nonetheless remembers listening to his associates’ cries for assist as they perished in the fireplace.

READ MORE: 1st witnesses testify in trial of three males in Lac-Mégantic train catastrophe

He says he doesn’t need solutions from the three males on trial; he isn’t pleased that MMA executives are “in the States. They’re with their money” and never going through questions in Quebec.

“Transport Canada has let those cheap companies run railroads for less money, for making more money instead of acting for security for people,” Paradis instructed Global News.

“Security should be first. Not third.”

A court sketch of Crown Prosecutor Véronique Beauchamp giving her opening statements on the first day of the criminal negligence trial for the Lac-Mégantic train disaster, Mon. Oct. 2, 2017.

A court docket sketch of Crown Prosecutor Véronique Beauchamp giving her opening statements on the first day of the prison negligence trial for the Lac-Mégantic train catastrophe, Mon. Oct. 2, 2017.

Mike McLachlan

After analyzing the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) report, Jean-Paul Lacoursière, a chemical engineer at the Université de Sherbrooke, discovered that higher administration needs to be concerned on this trial — if at the least to testify.

READ MORE: Lac-Mégantic residents name on Trudeau to maneuver ahead on rail bypass

“It appears from the TSB report that the company has tolerated improper braking practices, did not provide appropriate braking practice and did not ensure the employees were properly trained and demonstrated that they understood the training,” he instructed Global News.

“The TSB report indicates that improper repairs were conducted on the locomotive that caught fire the tragic night.”

Lacoursière notes the TSB discovered that MMA lacked management by not successfully managing dangers, implementing security administration programs and offering ineffective coaching.

READ MORE: Two years later: rebuilding after the Lac-Mégantic train derailment

He argues management should come from the highest authority in an organization by way of procedures and sources to verify gear and insurance policies are up-to-date.

WATCH BELOW: Looking again at the train derailment


“Leadership is not only words, but a deep involvement of the leaders ensuring that what they stated is implemented,” he instructed Global News.

“Leadership is not the flavour of the moment, but a deep and permanent involvement.”

READ MORE: Settlement reached in Lac-Mégantic lawsuit to compensate victims

Lacoursière factors to a “weak safety culture” from Transport Canada that didn’t encourage MMA to train its workers correctly.

He famous that the case holds some resemblance to the Westray Mine explosion in Nova Scotia, which led Parliament to undertake Bill C-45 in 2004.

READ MORE: Lax security measures, poor coaching led to deadly Lac-Mégantic rail catastrophe

“The Bill established new legal duties for workplace health and safety, and imposed serious penalties for violations that result in injuries or death,” Lacoursière defined.

“The Bill provided new rules for attributing criminal liability to organizations, including corporations, their representatives and those who direct the work of others.”

A city on fireplace

The incident occurred at 1:15 a.m. when a runaway train with 72 oil tankers — owned and operated by the now bankrupt railway firm Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway Ltd. (MMA) — barrelled into the city at over 100 km/h.

READ MORE: Lac-Mégantic prison negligence trial to start Monday, as residents search to maneuver ahead

The locomotive, and subsequently the airbrakes, have been then shut down after a small fireplace on the train, inflicting the air to bleed off and the train to start out sliding.

Dozens of houses and companies have been destroyed and about 2,000 residents have been evacuated.

READ MORE: 1st witnesses testify in trial of three males in Lac-Mégantic train catastrophe

The bilingual trial is going down in Sherbrooke, Que., about an hour and a half away from Lac-Mégantic.

A conviction on prison negligence inflicting demise can carry a most penalty of life in jail.

The trial is predicted to final till Dec. 21.

rachel.lau@globalnews.ca
Follow @rachel_lau

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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