NEWS
02/26/2012 04:11 EST | Updated 04/27/2012 05:12 EDT

Burlington Via Rail Train Derailment: 3 Engineers Dead After Train Comes Off Tracks Near Burlington's Aldershot Station (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

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EARLIER STORY:

At least three people are dead after a Via train derailment in Burlington, Ont., about an hour west of Toronto.

Halton Police have confirmed that the passenger train en route to Toronto from Niagara Falls went off the tracks around 3:30 p.m. Sunday. There were 75 passengers and four crew members on board.

The three dead on the train were Via employees who were riding in the locomotive, the company confirmed on Sunday evening.

"It was like a bad movie. Stuff was flying all over the place, people were flying all over the place," passenger John Dykstra told the Globe and Mail.

"It felt like we hit some bumps in the road and then the train jumped and it kept jumping and it tipped over to the side,” said passenger Hannah Lemke to the Hamilton Spectator.

Michelle Lamarche of Via Rail says two cars came off the tracks near the Aldershot train station at Highway 403 and Waterdown Road. Lamarche said three passengers were airlifted to a Hamilton hospital. One of the passengers airlifted was a 70-year-old woman in stable condition, and another was a 48-year-old man, CBC reports.

Aerial footage from CTV News shows multiple train cars lying on their side as emergency workers swarm the scene. The crash may have also caused damage to nearby buildings.

By 6:45 p.m. there were reports that all the trapped passengers have been freed and investigation into the crash could begin. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada will be investigating the derailment.

There were earlier reports that the train was leaking fuel and a spokesperson at Hamilton Health Sciences told the Hamilton Spectator that “there is a risk of some part of the train exploding."

The Queen Elizabeth Way was also closed in both directions to allow for air ambulances to reach the scene reports CBC News.

Another Via passenger train derailed last July near London, Ont. after hitting a pick up truck. Another derailment in February 2010 caused extensive damage to homes near Quebec City when cars came off the track and tipped over.

The cause of this derailment is still unknown.

Another Via train is currently stuck in London, Ont. behind the derailment. That train will continue to Toronto via Guelph. Passengers bound for Brantford will be taken to their destination by cab. Family members and Via passengers wanting information can call a hotline at 1-888-842-6141.