Thursday 19 October 2017

Six dead as speeding bus hits train in crash horror

Jon Swaine New York

A passenger train and double decker bus have collided at a crossing in Ottawa, Canada, during rush-hour, killing six and critically injuring 11.

The double-decker bus travelled through a barrier at the crossing in the Canadian capital and smashed into the four-carriage train, as passengers begged the driver to stop, according to witnesses.

"Boom. It went into the train like that," said Pascal Lolgis, who witnessed the crash. "He just didn't stop." There were conflicting witness reports about whether or not the barrier was closed.

The front of the bus was torn off, which left the driver among one of 30 people injured and taken to nearby hospitals.

Tanner Trepaniere, who was sitting on the top deck, said he and other passengers could see the train bearing down on them as they approached the crossing, in the city's rural outskirts.

"People started screaming 'Stop! Stop!', because they could see the train coming down the track," said Mr Trepaniere.

Tributes to the victims were paid swiftly by Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister, and Jim Watson, the Mayor of Ottawa.

Mr Harper said he was "deeply saddened" by the accident. "My thoughts are with the victims of this accident," Mr Watson added.

While the locomotive and one passenger car of the train derailed during the crash, no major injuries were reported among the train's passengers.

The accident occurred just two months after a freight train carrying oil derailed and exploded in the town of Lac-Megantic in Quebec, killing 50 people.

Canada's two biggest rail firms, Canadian National Railway Co and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd, are reviewing safety standards after the July 6 crash, which also destroyed the centre of the town.

It was Canada's second major rail accident this year. It comes after an oil train derailed and exploded in a Quebec town in July, killing 47 people.

Passenger Gregory Mech said the bus was approaching a train crossing where there is about a 90-degree bend. Mech said he didn't think the driver noticed that signals were flashing and that the barrier was down.

"The bus actually hit the train dead on," Mr Mechsaid. "I could see that there were bodies on the train tracks. It was horrible."

The national Transportation Safety Board's lead investigator, Glen Pilon, said Via Rail crossings have been a concern.

Pilon said getting the black box recording is a priority to determine what went wrong before the crash. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

Editors Choice

Also in World News