NEWS
02/28/2012 08:01 EST | Updated 04/29/2012 05:12 EDT

Burlington Train Derailment Survivor Glad To Be Alive

An injured passenger of Sunday's fatal Via Rail derailment in Burlington, Ont., says she is just glad to be alive.

Susan Easterbrook is still in hospital days after the derailment which killed three Via Rail employees in the locomotive portion of the train — directly in front of where Easterbrook and her husband were sitting.

"I am just glad to be here and alive," Easterbrook said from her hospital bed.

She suffered a punctured lung, four broken ribs and a fractured collarbone.

She and her husband Wayne were on their way home to Kingston, Ont., from a holiday in Niagara Falls, Ont. Wayne Easterbrook recalled hearing screams as the train veered off the tracks.

"I could see our friend Brenda, the look on her face, it was terror, and then you could hear people start to scream, " he said.

Wayne Easterbrook has been credited by other passengers for helping keep others calm and helping them off the train.

The locomotive was removed from the tracks Tuesday and was taken to a secure holding facility where investigators could pore over the wreckage as they work to find the cause.

The Transportation Safety Board refused to comment on the progress of their investigation Tuesday, but have said the black box would be key in the search for answers. The train's speed, brake pressure, when the brakes were applied, and whether the whistle was blowing can all be ascertained from the data held in the device.

Via reported that train operations in the area had returned to normal by late Tuesday afternoon.

"The trains are back on the track today," said Via spokeswoman Michelle Lamarche.

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