NEWS

Lac-Mégantic: Lisa Raitt announces rail safety rules based on crash findings

10/29/2014 08:42 EDT | Updated 12/29/2014 05:59 EST
Transport Minister Lisa Raitt is set to unveil new rail safety regulations in the aftermath of the devastating 2013 rail disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Que.

The minister is scheduled to appear with Quebec Senator Claude Carignan on Parliament Hill at 9 a.m. ET. CBC News is livestreaming her press conference.

In August, the Transportation Safety Board's final report found a "weak safety culture" at the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic railroad, which "did not have a functioning safety management system to manage risks."

The investigator's final recommendations fingered a failure of hand brakes to secure the train on the night it rolled away and crashed into the heart of the community's downtown before exploding and killing 47 people.

MMA had gaps in training, employee monitoring and maintenance practices, the final report said.

The report also found that Transport Canada did not audit MMA often and thoroughly enough to ensure safety procedures were being followed.

Raitt is expected to announce tougher regulations to specify the number of hand brakes required for trains parked unattended, like the MMA train was on the night of the crash. 

Transport Canada also is reviewing the training programs for staff of small railway companies like MMA. 

The regulator is expected to boost inspections, moving away from a system where companies had more leeway to manage their own operational risks.

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