Quebec police finish Lac-Megantic rail disaster investigation

by Reuters
Monday, 24 March 2014 14:19 GMT

By Randall Palmer

OTTAWA, March 24 (Reuters) - Quebec police have concluded their investigation into last July's oil-by-rail disaster in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic, in which 47 people were killed, and have turned the file over to the public prosecutor's office, a police spokesman said Monday.

"The investigators of the Surete du Quebec (police) have sent the investigation report to the director of criminal and penal prosecutions," spokesman Claude Denis said.

Neither he nor the prosecutor's office would give details on what was in the report, or say whether, or when, criminal charges might be laid.

The news agency QMI reported over the weekend that an unidentified police source said police were confident prosecutors would lay criminal negligence charges as a result of the investigation.

Jean-Pascal Boucher, spokesman for the prosecutor's office, said the prosecution has been working with the police since the accident and that it is continuing to analyze the evidence.

The disaster occurred after a single engineer parked his train for the night on a main line uphill from Lac-Megantic. The train of oil tankers started rolling and eventually derailed, exploding into balls of fire and flattening the center of the town.

The train was operated by the small railway company, Montreal, Maine & Atlantic. (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson; and Peter Galloway)

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