Rail chief blames employee in Quebec train crash

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec (AP) — The president and CEO of the railway’s parent company says an employee failed to properly set the brakes of the train that crashed into a town in Quebec, killing at least 15 people.

Edward Burkhardt made the comments during a visit today to the town that was devastated by the runaway oil train four days ago.

He said, “It was questionable whether hand brakes were put I place at this time.” Burkhardt added, “I don’t think any employees removed brakes. They failed to set the brakes.”

He said a train engineer has been suspended without pay.

Officials say 60 people are missing or dead in the aftermath of the train crash.

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178-a-09-(Inspector Michel Forget (mee-SHEHL’ fohr-ZHAY’), Quebec Provincial Police, at news conference)-”us as missing”-Quebec Provincial Police Inspector Michel Forget says more people are unaccounted for than had been reported earlier. COURTESY: CTV ((mandatory on-air credit)) (10 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *178 (07/10/13)££ 00:09 “us as missing”

179-a-12-(Inspector Michel Forget (mee-SHEHL’ fohr-ZHAY’), Quebec Provincial Police, at news conference)-”that we’ll bring”-Quebec Provincial Police Inspector Michel Forget says it’s up to the Crown Prosecutor’s Office to determine if criminal charges are warranted. COURTESY: CTV ((mandatory on-air credit)) (10 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *179 (07/10/13)££ 00:12 “that we’ll bring”

GRAPHICSBANK: Workers sort through wreckage of burned, derailed railway cars that had been carrying crude oil, Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, aerial photo on texture, partial graphic (9 Jul 2013)

APPHOTO RYR206: Rail World Inc. President Edward Burkhardt speaks to the media as he tours Lac-Megantic, Quebec, on Wednesday, July 10, 2013. Burkhardt said Wednesday that an employee failed to properly set the brakes of the train that crashed into a town in Quebec, killing at least 15 people. (AP Photo/ The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz) (10 Jul 2013)

<<APPHOTO RYR206 (07/10/13)££

APPHOTO PCH104: This aerial photo, workers comb through the debris after a train derailed causing explosions of railway cars carrying crude oil Tuesday, July 9, 2013 in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada on Tuesday July 9, 2013. At least thirteen people were confirmed dead and nearly 40 others were still missing in a catastrophe that raised questions about the safety of transporting oil by rail instead of pipeline. (AP Photo/ The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson) (9 Jul 2013)

<<APPHOTO PCH104 (07/09/13)££

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