Canadian passenger train derails in Ontario


A Canadian passenger train derailed in Burlington, Ontario on February 26, 2012, leaving three railroad employees dead and several passengers trapped onboard.


Chris Jackson

The BBC is reporting that several passengers have been trapped in a passenger train crash in Ontario, Canada on Sunday.

According to a spokeswoman for Canada's Via Rail company, the train was bound for Toronto and derailed near Burlington.

While the BBC has one unconfirmed report that people have been killed, the Associated Press reported that the mayor of Burlington said three people have died.

Mayor Rick Goldring said emergency crews were working to help retrieve passengers, and mentioned that the derailment had caused damage to some buildings.

Michelle Lamarche, a spokeswoman for Via Rail, said 75 people were onboard the train at the time of derailment. The AP confirmed with Lamarche that the three killed were railroad employees riding at the front of the train when it derailed.

Ontario's newspaper, The Hamilton Spectator, had an eyewitness account from one of the passengers, Hannah Lemke, who said, "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."

The area hospital has declared a code orange for external disaster, with spokesperson Jeff Vallentin saying, “There is a risk of some part of the train exploding.”

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Here is footage from the AP of the derailment: