Trial of deadly Lac-Mégantic train disaster underway in Quebec

Updated: 09:52 GMT, Oct 5, 2017 | Published: 09:11 GMT, Oct 5, 2017 |

Three Canadian rail workers ended their second day of trial on Tuesday (October 3) for their role in a 2013 train derailment that left 47 people dead and flattened the heart of the Quebec village of Lac-Megantic.

Locomotive engineer Thomas Harding, manager of train operations Jean Demaitre and railway traffic controller Richard Labrie repeated their not guilty pleas at a court house in Sherbrooke, Quebec on Monday (October 2).

They are each charged with 47 counts of criminal negligence causing death, one count for every person killed in the fiery explosion.

The disaster occurred on July 6, 2013 after a single engineer parked his train or oil tankers for the night on a main line uphill from the small town of Lac-Mégantic. The train rolled downhill after the brakes failed and it derailed, exploding in balls of fire and flattening the center of the town.

CBC reports that prosecutors intend to to prove the three men knew about a mechanical problem with the train even before the accident, but failed to take necessary steps to secure the train.

The trial is expected to last until Christmas.

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