The documents filed against the oil tankers that leveled downtown Lac-Mégantic had a cargo manifest, which alleged that the 72 tankers left from the Bakken oilfields in North Dakota, and carried a total of 7.2 million litres of crude. Paperwork submitted for the transport claims that the oil passed through Toronto, Montreal and was headed for Irving refinery in Saint John, N.B. However, investigators are asking the horrible question: what if the contents of the manifest were wrong?
The Transportation Safety Board is now looking into the answer to such essential questions, as it gets ready to leave the town of Lac-Mégantic on Thursday and pursue its investigation at a lab in Ottawa. Lead investigator on the case, Donald Ross, revealed that it’s still very much uncertain if the crude oil that was being carried in the cargo is capable of producing such a strong enough blast to level an entire city Centre. He highlighted that “we want to make sure that the dangerous goods that were involved here, that they were properly described, that they were properly packaged in the right tank cars — and we’re going to check into all those things.”
Another TSB investigator, Ed Belkaloul, also shares the concern that the crude oil reacted in an “abnormal” way. Ross stated that “we’ll be testing the chemicals we recovered and scraped from the tankers to see if they match what was on the manifest.” He stated that “we’ve seen video on social media, we’ve interviewed the firefighters who were first on the scene. … I’ve been in the railroad business for 40 years and a fire that size, it’s serious, it’s devastating.”
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