‘A major challenge:’ Report by railway in fatal B.C. derailment studied impacts of winter weather

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A report by the railway company involved in this week’s deadly derailment in the Rocky Mountains details how challenging it is to run trains in frigid temperatures.

« Harsh winter conditions are an inescapable reality in Canada’s northern climate, » says a document titled White Paper: Railroading in the Canadian Winter on Canadian Pacific Railway’s website.

« Winter has a profound impact on a railway’s operations and its ability to maintain service for its customers. »

A Vancouver-bound train with 112 grain cars was parked with its air brakes engaged on a grade east of Field, B.C., when it started moving on its own around 1 a.m. Monday. The train sped up to well over the limit before 99 cars and two locomotives hurtled off the tracks. It was about –20 C at the time.

Engineer Andrew Dockrell, conductor Dylan Paradis and trainee Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer died in the crash.

The white paper said cold increases air leakage from a train’s air-brake system that results in varying air pressures between the head and tail end of a train.

Trainee Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer, left, engineer Andrew Dockrell, centre, and conductor Dylan Paradis, right, were killed when a CP train derailed near Field, B.C., early Monday. (Facebook)

« This is a major challenge. »

Trains are shortened whentemperatures dip below –25 C to ensure pressure remains consistent throughout their entire length, the report said.

A union representative has said the derailed train was shorter than the 135 cars CP has run in recent years. But a veteran Boston-based engineer said 112 cars is still large for a train of full grain hoppers.

« Our forefathers in the business would never have put a train together that big under those climatic conditions and expected it to run smoothly, » said Joe Mulligan with Railroad Workers United, a volunteer-run group of rank-and-file railroaders across North America.

The Transportation Safety Board has said the train was parked for two hours before it began to move on its own. Handbrakes were not applied, the board said.

« It would have taken an awful lot of handbrakes to hold a train back that big, » said Mulligan, who added there was nothing to be done once the train was in motion.

The Calgary-based railway said in the report that it also places locomotives at different points along a train in the winter. Distributing power that way makes it quicker to pressurize air brakes. The train that derailed had a locomotive at the front, middle and end.

‘Things break that normally don’t’

In extreme cold, dryers are used to prevent moisture from getting into the brakes, which means it takes longer to pressurize them and do the required safety checks, said the winter railroading report.

« This unavoidably increases the train’s terminal dwell time. »

The white paper also said train speeds must be reduced in frigid temperatures — by at least 16 km/h below –25 C and by at least 32 km/h at –35 C.

Will Young, a locomotive mechanic based in Kansas City, Mo., and an organizer at Railroad Workers United, said cold weather takes a toll on many train components.

« Things break that normally don’t. Steel just becomes brittle. Rubber seals just harden and don’t work. »

Young said he suspects some sort of mechanical issue caused the braking system to lose power. That could have set off the chain of events that led to the catastrophe.

« It only takes that ever-so-slight touch of momentum. »

The spiral tunnels and location of CP Rail derailment. The train started moving on its own and derailed before it reached the second tunnel. (CBC)

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Police on scene of fatal 2-vehicle crash on Highway 103 – Halifax

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A section of Highway 103 in Lunenburg County is closed to traffic following a fatal crash, according to police.

Nova Scotia RCMP say the two-vehicle crash happened just before 7 p.m. between exits 12 and 13.

READ MORE: Truck crashes into Irving station in Lower Sackville, 2 hospitalized

The section of road between the two exits is closed to traffic as police investigate the cause of the crash.

It’s expected to be closed well into the evening. Traffic is being re-routed through Bridgewater at exits 12 and 13.

Police did not say whether there were any other injuries.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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The first 24 hours after Ottawa’s fatal bus crash

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On Friday afternoon, just as rush hour was getting underway, a packed OC Transpo bus slammed into a bus shelter west of downtown Ottawa.

The next 24 hours were chaotic, as emergency crews scrambled to treat the injured and city officials tried to keep residents updated about the developments.

Here’s how it all happened.


Friday

3:50 p.m.:  A double-decker bus carrying dozens of people bound for Kanata collides with the shelter at Westboro station.

4:01 p.m.: Ottawa police announce that they’re responding to the crash and that « several » people have been hurt.

4:13 p.m.: One of the first photos of the crash shared on social media shows significant damage to the bus’s front end. Further photos would come in, showing seats dangling from the top level of the bus and stretchers waiting to ferry away injured people.

4:31 p.m.: More than 40 minutes after the crash, OC Transpo tweets that a collision has occurred and that buses are being detoured.

4:56 p.m.: Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson tweets his shock at the « horrific incident » and urges people to stay away from the crash site.

5:25 p.m.: The Ottawa Hospital says it’s treating two patients in critical condition.

5:48 p.m.: The Ottawa Paramedic Service gives its first public update, saying 17 people are injured.

6 p.m.: The hospital says nine people are now in critical condition at its trauma centre.

6:08 p.m.: The City of Ottawa announces that it’s opened a « family reunification centre » at a nearby seniors’ centre where people can go to get information about their loved ones.

6:15 p.m.: Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau updates media from the scene. He says there are « some fatalities, » but doesn’t give a number.

Police and first responders work at Westboro station where a double-decker OC Tranpo bus struck the shelter on Jan. 11. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

7 p.m.: Watson, Bordeleau, OC Transpo general manager John Manconi and other city officials assemble for a news conference at Ottawa City Hall. Watson says that three people are confirmed dead and that 23 others were injured. Bordeleau says the bus driver has been arrested.

8:01 p.m.: Paramedics announce they’ve finished their work at the scene.

8:25 p.m.: Premier Doug Ford issues a statement that he’s « shocked and saddened » by the crash. He applauds the work of first responders.

11:55 p.m.: CBC learns that the driver of the bus has been released from custody.

A tow truck pulls away a damaged OC Transpo bus from Westboro station on Jan. 12. The double-decker bus struck the shelter the day before. (Idil Mussa/CBC)

Saturday

12 a.m.: The city closes the reunification centre.

7:50 a.m.: Two men come by the scene and put up a tree. One man tearfully tells a CBC reporter they want to affix the names of the victims to its branches.

7:59 a.m.: Ottawa police say they’ve confirmed the identities of the three people who died, but do not release their names. 

11:12 a.m.: The Ottawa Hospital tweets that it only has one person left in critical condition.

1 p.m.:  At a press conference, Sgt. Cameron Graham with the force’s collision investigation unit says officers will be reconstructing the crash to find out what happened. He urges people who were on the bus or saw what happened to come forward, and predicts the crash scene will likely be cleared by Saturday night.

3:27 p.m. Crews begin to tow the bus involved in the crash away from the station.

3:45 p.m. Nearly 24 hours after the fatal collision, police begin driving a similar bus up and down the Transitway near Westboro station in an attempt to figure out what happened.

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SQ seeks witnesses of fatal south shore crash – Montreal

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Quebec provincial police are looking for witnesses of a fatal crash on Highway 10 in Montreal’s south shore.

On Dec. 27 around 5:30 p.m., a 42-year-old driver heading west on the highway between Brossard and Chambly lost control of her car.

READ MORE: 1 dead, 5 injured in Highway 10 collision near Brossard

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According to investigators, the car crossed the median, veered into the eastbound lanes and hit two cars.

The driver was killed in the incident.

READ MORE: Longueuil police remove 24 dogs from Brossard residence after finding man in distress

Her husband and child, who were in the car with her, as well as the drivers of the other vehicles, were all injured and brought to hospital.

The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) asks witnesses to contact them at 1-800-659-4264.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Quebec provincial police investigating fatal fire in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu – Montreal

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The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) is investigating a fatal apartment fire in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, 45 kilometres east of Montreal.

Emergency crews responded to a fire in a residential building on Laurier Street at around 3 a.m. on Sunday.

READ MORE: Woman dies in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu house fire

SQ spokesperson Daniel Thibaudeau said the blaze started in an apartment occupied by a couple in their 60s.

The woman was able to exit the apartment on her own, but the other occupant had to be pulled out by firefighters.

Thibaudeau said firefighters immediately administered first aid, but the man was later pronounced dead in hospital.

READ MORE: SQ investigating 2 suspected arsons in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

The woman suffered minor injuries.

Damage to the building was limited.

Thibaudeau said that while it was too early to say what caused the fire, it does not appear to be criminal.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Fatal stabbing in Scarborough marks Toronto’s first homicide of 2019

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Police have confirmed Toronto’s first homicide of the year after a man was fatally stabbed in a Scarborough residence early Sunday morning.

Police said they received a call at 12:24 a.m. about an individual with a stab wound in a residential building near Gordonridge Pl. and Danforth Rd.

The caller, an acquaintance of the victim, described the man as seriously injured, police said. When police arrived on scene with paramedics, they found the man with obvious signs of trauma and a life-threatening stab wound to his upper body.

Police said resuscitation efforts were made but the man, described to be in his 30s, was pronounced dead on scene. His death is Toronto’s first homicide of 2019.

The area surrounding the building has been closed off for an investigation but there are no road closures, police said. They have not yet released any information on possible suspects.

Premila D’Sa is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @premila_dsa

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Loved ones identify victim of fatal Nisku explosion – Edmonton

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The family of a man killed in a workplace incident in Nisku last month has identified him.

READ MORE: 1 dead after explosion south of Edmonton

Devron Chase, 40, died after an explosion at Ja-Co Welding and Consulting on Dec. 27. The Leduc man leaves behind a wife and three daughters.

Two other men were injured in the blast. There is no word yet on what caused the blast, which could be felt kilometres away from the business.

RELATED: Welder hurt in Nisku explosion left with life-altering injuries, traumatic burns

A statement sent to Global News by the Chase family said they are heartbroken and devastated by Devron’s death.

“Devron was a loving family man who worked incredibly hard and loved harder,” reads the statement.

“His life touched so many, and we are extremely proud of the man he was and the legacy he left behind. He will live on forever in our hearts, and we are incredibly grateful to have had him in our lives, even if it could not be for as long as we had hoped.”

READ MORE: Work can partially resume at Nisku business rocked by deadly explosion

According to his family, Devron would have turned 41 on Dec. 30.

Coraless Chase, Devron’s sister, said a trust fund called “In Trust for Chase family” has been set up at Servus Credit Union for the three daughters.

A fundraising page has also been set up on GoFundMe.

OHS said a stop-work order that had been put into place at Ja-Co Welding and Consulting has been lifted in the main building, allowing work to start up again in that location only. The remainder of the site is still under the control of OHS.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Fatal shooting by Edmonton police under investigation by ASIRT

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Edmonton police shot and killed a 34-year-old wanted man Wednesday afternoon after an « incident » in the city’s east end, police said in a news release. 

Police said officers were following the man in a vehicle at around 2 p.m.

He had several outstanding warrants and police believed he was armed and dangerous.

Officers conducted a traffic stop with the help of a tactical unit in the area of 79th Avenue and 71st Street, near the Urban Village condo complex. Two people in the vehicle got out without incident.

The man with outstanding warrants remained in the vehicle and refused to co-operate, police said.

An incident took place between the suspect and responding officers, police said. Officers then shot the man. He was treated by EMS and taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The other two passengers of the vehicle were not injured, police said. 

No EPS officers were injured in the incident. 

Police said they will not further comment as the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) is now in charge of the investigation.

Police vehicles parked outside an east-Edmonton condo complex. (Nathan Gross/CBC)

A red Chevrolet SUV, taped off by police at the scene, appeared to have several bullet holes on the passenger side door. 

Alanna Johnson was visiting her children, who live across the street from the condo complex. Johnson told CBC News she heard what sounded like 10 gunshots in quick succession.

« It was very scary, » she said.

A Chevrolet SUV at the scene, taped off by police, appears to have several bullet holes in the passenger side of the vehicle. (Nathan Gross/CBC)

« They were quite loud. I thought they were right out on the street. So I jumped down to the ground right away and grabbed my daughter and said, ‘Stay down because I don’t know where these shots are coming from,’ » she said.

In a tweet, ASIRT said it will follow up with more details later.

Police investigate at the scene of Wednesday’s officer-involved fatal shooting. (Allison Dragsten)

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Fatal crash west of Clinton leaves 2 seniors dead: OPP – London

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Huron County OPP say a crash west of Clinton, Ont., has claimed the lives of two seniors from Central Huron.

Officers responded at around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to a crash on Telephone Road, just west of Fish and Game Line.

Police said a crossover SUV had veered off the roadway, overturned and become submerged in water.


READ MORE:
2 charged after 3 crashes involving stolen 24-foot U-Haul truck: London police

Police pulled the two occupants from the vehicle afterwards. The two seniors were transported to hospital, where they were later pronounced dead.

The victims of the crash have been identified as George Rich, 72, and Mary Wood, 69, of Central Huron.


READ MORE:
Central Huron man fatally struck by vehicle while inspecting debris from earlier collision

An investigation into the fatal incident is ongoing, and witnesses are urged to contact Huron County OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or 519-524-8314.

Anonymous tips can also be sent to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477),

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Vehicle in fatal pedestrian collision leaves scene on Big River First Nation

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RCMP say a man is dead after a pedestrian collision on Big River First Nation this past weekend.

Emergency services were called at roughly 10:45 p.m. CT on Dec. 23.


READ MORE:
Boy hospitalized with serious injuries after hit and run in Saskatoon

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. His name and age were not released by police.

Big River RCMP said the vehicle involved in the collision left the scene.

A forensic collision analyst is assisting with the investigation.

Big River First Nation is approximately 160 kilometres north of Saskatoon.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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