TSB takes over investigation of fatal Vancouver Island derailment

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Woss, British Columbia
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WOSS, British Columbia — A team of investigators from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada in looking into the cause of a Vancouver Island derailment that left three railroaders dead April 20. The derailment happened on Western Forest Products’ Englewood Railway. Two other railroaders with serious injuries are receiving treatment at nearby hospitals.

On Saturday, April 22, TSB announced that federal officials would take over the investigation from WorkSafeBC, which has oversight of the isolated industrial railroad on the north end of Vancouver Island.

On Thursday, April 20, a log train that was being loaded near Woss, reportedly began to roll downhill, according to ChekNews.ca. The train collided with maintenance-of-way equipment further down the line resulting in a derailment. According to news reports, five people were injured and at least three workers were buried under the load of logs. Two of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene and a third was rescued from under the load and sent to an area hospital where that person later died.

Western Forest Products and United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 issued a joint statement over the weekend saying that safety will remain their top priority following the accident. They also thanked the first responders that helped at the scene of the derailment.

“We will continue to focus efforts on working together to ensure that the families, workers, and all affected are supported,” says Don Demens, company president and CEO. “The well-being and safety of our employees and the communities where we operate is paramount.”

All of Western Forest Products timberland operations were suspended on Friday but will likely resume this week. It’s unknown when regular rail operations will resume.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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