Thursday, 11 July 2013

You did it! Or... did you?

The tragedy that the town of Lac Mégantic in Québec is going through is beyond human understanding. The impact in the media has been downplayed by other news including the crash landing of Asiana flight 214 in San Francisco Airport and a Piper Club light aircraft that crashed in Alaska with two families on board with no survivors. Even the town's official website is "in shock" and denial without the prominence this catastrophic event should have on their pages.

The news of Lac Mégantic started with ONE casualty only. This was on Saturday morning, five days ago. Then 3, 5, 15 and now 50 unaccounted for because they were apparently "vaporised" by the intensity of the fireball that ensued after the crash. Vaporised... gone! And that is the horror of downplaying this... had a bus full of tourists (50!) crashed down a ravine into the crater of Mauna Loa, with everyone vaporised in seconds, this would have been an event to remember forever. This one isn't. Why? A few reasons but first because oil is involved, companies are involved and it is not an accident.

When I see the news from CNN quoting the Chief Executive of the railway company, Edward Burkhardt of the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway I have to start questioning the reasoning and how people's brains are working. Is there a short circuit anywhere? From everyone? First blaming firemen that went to put out a fire on one of the locomotives at 12.30am. Apparently these professionals stopped all the engines as a safety measure. The engineer was not present, asleep, and it was another member of staff from MM&A that assisted the firemen. This could be the cause for the train starting running away, as a locomotive on idle could be working for the sole purpose of keeping the pressure on the entire braking system of the train. Then, when this all may sound a bit too thin, the blame falls on The Engineer. I mention him in capital letters to emphasise his littleness in this entire process. The Engineer, ONE MAN, is the responsible for this unbelievable catastrophe, with imagery you can only find on a film starring Steven Segal. How can this be possible? How can ONE MAN do all this while he went to sleep after one day's work?

He, ONE MAN, arrives with his train at 11pm. ONE MAN in charge of a train that has FIVE LOCOMOTIVES, pulling SEVENTY THREE CARS, carrying FIFTEEN THOUSAND TONNES of crude oil, a train that is over TWO MILES long! ONE MAN! It is now 11pm and he parks the train on the TOP OF THE HILL (as if he had a choice) and then he has to walk half a mile to manually activate the brakes of 12 cars. Then come back, leaving one locomotive on for additional safety. And so... to bed.

How can ONE MAN be in charge of all of this at 11pm on the top of the hill? People in Lac Mégantic and all over North America have seen these gigantic and uncontrollable trains passing by... forever! No one asked any questions, ever. Until now... and believe me, when the culprit is finally found (my main suspect is GREED) the answer will not be ONE MAN. 


  1. Well said. The CEO of the railway company probably decided that a crew (say at least 2 men) was too expensive and his profit margin would shrink...

    1. And the Canadian Governement also decided that it would be inappropriate to challenge "free entreprise" at the expense of their citizens...



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She's fit?

My apologies for this Julie... one day I may tell you the story.