The ongoing investigation into the derailment and explosion that took place in Lac-Megantic, Que. last year has revealed that the engineer, Thomas Harding, only applied seven hand brakes prior to the incident. According to the MM&A instruction manual there must be a minimum of nine manual brakes applied for a convoy of 70-79 cars. The crude oil train at the center of the explosion contained 72 cars. Police have questioned several MM&A engineers who stated they would apply between 10-15 hand brakes when parking their convoys. An independent expert that was hired by police stated “Taking into account the weight, length and slope of the railway, the convoy should have had 15 cars with manual brakes activated.” This derailment and explosion killed 47 people which led to several employees of MM&A being charged with 47 counts of criminal negligence causing death.
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