This is the full report of the Canadian Transportation Safety Board’s investigation and findings regarding the derailment and tragedy in Megantic, QC. The report was issued in August, 2014, 13 months after the accident. I found the details of the many things that went wrong are interesting. Eg. the fire in the engine (that preceded the runaway) was caused by oil accumulating in the turbocharger and igniting. The investigators dug further to discover why the oil accumulated there – shoddy repairs from an earlier problem. Fascinating.
On 06 July 2013, shortly before 0100 Eastern Daylight Time, eastward Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway freight train MMA-002, which was parked unattended for the night at Nantes, Quebec, started to roll. The train traveled approximately 7.2 miles, reaching a speed of 65 mph. At around 0115, when MMA-002 approached the centre of the town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, 63 tank cars carrying petroleum crude oil (UN 1267) and 2 box cars derailed. About 6 million litres of petroleum crude oil spilled. There were fires and explosions, which destroyed 40 buildings, 53 vehicles, and the railway tracks at the west end of Megantic Yard. Forty-seven people were fatally injured. There was environmental contamination of the downtown area and of the adjacent river and lake.