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Canada charges 6 in 2013 oil train disaster

Canada charges 6 in 2013 oil train disaster
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Canadian federal officials hit six railroad employees with criminal charges stemming from a July 2013 oil train disaster in Quebec that killed 47.

Transport Canada said the employees were responsible for the train not having its brake properly engaged on the night of the derailment and explosion in Lac-Megantic, the Globe and Mail reported Monday.

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The train was parked on a grade, causing it to race into the town with no control after the crew left it.

“The actions taken by the government of Canada in response to this tragedy is a testament to its efforts to continually improve both environmental security and rail safety for all Canadians,” the government said in a Monday statement.

The employees worked for the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway, which went bankrupt shortly after the disaster. The charges included the company’s chief executive, other executives and crew on the train.

The explosion caught the attention of government officials in both Canada and the United States.

It is one of many recent high-profile disasters that have accompanied the sharp rise in oil-by-rail shipments since North American oil production skyrocketed.

Both countries are now on track to remove the oldest train tank cars from oil service in the coming years, while instituting new operational and speed rules for crude by rail.