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Via Passenger Train Crashes in Thamesville, Ontario

:Saturday, April 24, 1999

CANADA: A train carrying 183 passengers and 8 crew has collided with 4 stationary tanker cars near Thamesville,
Thamesville wreckage
Photo: Toronto Star
Derailed passenger cars at Thamesville

The accident involved VIA Rail train number 74 consisting of 4 passenger cars hauled by a single locomotive. It occurred at around noon on 23 April. Two of the crew, the engineer and a trainee engineer were killed in the train which was travelling from Windsor, Ontario to Toronto. In a statement, VIA Rail said that some 100 passengers were taken to local hospitals, adding "no passenger fatalities have been reported and all but two passengers have either been released or will be shortly".

It is thought that the train was accidently switched from the main line into a siding where the tanker cars, belonging to Canadian National (CN) were standing.

A number of the tankers were believed to contain ammonium nitrate pellets and nearby premises, including a nursery were evacuated for fear of an explosion.

In a press statement, Via Rail said "The Transportation Safety Board of Canada was on the scene shortly following the accident and is conducting a thorough investigation. VIA is co-operating fully with the TSB in order to determine the cause or causes of this accident as soon as possible."

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created on:   Saturday, April 24, 1999 12:13 PM

Copyright © David Fry 1999

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