Lac-Megentic Investigation to Look at Dot-111 Tank Cars

Canadian investigators will examine the design of the 111-class cars carrying the crude oil that ignited after the derailment that killed at least 13 people in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, according to officials with the federal Transportation Safety Board.

Ed Belkaloul, an investigator speaking to reporters at the site of the July 6 accident, said the TSB will also examine procedures the company, Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd., used to operate the train, and will seek to answer questions such as whether the train should have been parked where it was.

Canada has sought improvements to the design of the DOT-111 cars, officials said.

“There’s a number of operational issues, including the operation of the train, the requirements and company policies regarding securement of trains,” said Donald Ross, the TSB’s lead investigator.

“We’ve had a long record of advocating for further improvements to many of these 111s because they are a very common type of tank car, they carry very large volumes of petroleum products,” he said.

The number of confirmed dead remains at 13, as officers searching for bodies were forced out of part of the disaster zone because of “hot spots,” according to provincial police spokesman Benoit Richard.

Some officers were medically treated and released an hour later in good condition, the Surete de Quebec’s Richard told reporters at a separate press conference. Representatives from Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway, are co-operating with police, Richard said.

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