A train, operated by the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway (QNS&L) derailed this morning around 7:30 a.m. by what appears to be a landslide.
The remote location of the train, on the Moise River, about 20 kilometres north of Sept-Iles, kept emergency crews from arriving at the site until noon.
The train locomotive, transporting empty rail cars, according to the Iron Ore company of Canada, was found submerged in the river. The Iron Ore Company owns the short line railway.
“The conductor is unnaccounted for and his family has been notified. Our first priority is locating our employee,” the company said in a statement. The engineer was the only person on board.
A team of investigators from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada will arrive at the site tomorrow morning. The Quebec Environment Ministry is investigating reports that diesel was spilled into the river when the train left the tracks.
It is too early to say whether this accident had anything to do with maintenance, or was the landslide an act of God, However rail safety is under increased scrutiny these days with the dangerously toxic cargo travelling regularly from fracking sites in the western United States.Listen
Carmel Kilkenny spoke with Avrom Shtern earlier this week about the general state of railways in Canada. Stern is the Transportation spokesman for Montreal’s Green Coalition.