01/23/2014 10:41 EST | Updated 03/25/2014 05:59 EDT

Lac-Mégantic disaster: Rail watchdog to give recommendations

The Transportation Safety Board is set to issue three new recommendations from its preliminary report on the Lac-Mégantic, Que., train derailment and explosion, with a news conference starting at 11 a.m. ET in Ottawa.

The recommendations are being released a day after municipal leaders met with Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, pressing to see railways, shippers and producers of dangerous goods assume full liability for accidents and spills.

As part of its months-long investigation into the disaster, the TSB issued a safety letter in September on how equipment and trains are secured when left unattended.

The 72-car train involved in the Lac-Mégantic disaster was unmanned when it rolled down a hill and derailed.

The TSB determined the braking force applied wasn’t enough to hold the train on the 1.2 per cent descending slope where it had been parked on the night of July 6.

The watchdog also found in the course of the probe that the crude oil carried in tankers that derailed and ignited was misidentified as a less volatile substance.

Forty-seven people were killed in the explosion and fire, which destroyed part of the town.

The disaster led Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway, the railway company at the centre of the fatal derailment, to declared bankruptcy. Its assets were sold this week to an American firm for an undisclosed sum.