TSB Says Lac-Mégantic Derailment Report Inadequate

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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An independent federal agency, The Transportation Safety Board of Canada, has mentioned in its report on Tuesday that Canadian government did not satisfactorily audit the rail firm allegedly held responsible for the Lac-Mégantic crude tanker disaster that killed 47 people last year.

Calling for tougher scrutiny of the rail industry, The Transportation Safety Board of Canada issued the final report on one of North America’s deadliest rail accidents. Furthermore, the report highlighted that there are still considerable risks of such disaster in future unless more measures are taken to boost rail safety. In light of the accident, train shipments of crude oil have skyrocketed in Canada and the United States as energy companies try to compensate for a lack of pipeline capacity. The TSB alleged that Transport Canada, the federal transportation ministry, had failed to stamp out abuses at Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway Ltd (MMA).

According to TSB Chair, Wendy Tadros, the MMA clearly had a weak safety culture and failed to train its employees adequately. It was added that they were insufficient efforts on maintenance and it did not have a functioning safety management system. She mentioned that “Transport Canada knew about some of the problems at MMA, but the follow-up wasn’t always there. Instead, the focus was on making sure railway companies had a safety management system, not how they were using it and whether it was effective.” It was added that “Transport Canada didn’t audit railways often enough and thoroughly enough to know how those companies were really managing – or not managing – risks.”

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