FIELD, British Columbia — Canadian Pacific president and CEO Keith Creel called this week’s fatal derailment in British Columbia a “tragedy” and has vowed to figure out what caused a train to derail while descending Kicking Horse Pass.
Three railroaders were killed at about 1 a.m. Monday when a westbound grain train derailed between the Upper and Lower Spiral Tunnels east of Field in Yoho National Park. According to CP officials, the three-person crew included conductor Dylan Paradis, engineer Andrew Dockrell and trainee Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer. All three men were from the Calgary area.
“This is a tragedy that will have a long-lasting impact on our family of railroaders,” Creel said in a statement late Monday. “The incident is under investigation and we will not speculate at this time on a cause —we owe it to those involved to get it right.”
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating the incident. TSB investigators were scheduled to brief the media about their initial investigation on Tuesday morning.
Video footage of the wreck shows dozens of covered hoppers derailed in three different locations, including alongside the Trans-Canada Highway. At least one locomotive fell into the Kicking Horse River.
According to Teamsters Canada, at least eight railroaders have died in Canada since November 2017. Lyndon Isaack, president of Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, said in a statement Monday that more needs to be done to protect the country’s railroaders.
“Today, our focus is on this accident as well as the victims’ friends and families. But moving forward, the government and the rail industry will have to recognize that something is wrong and change is needed. Eight workplace fatalities in a little over a year is not something that should be expected or accepted,” he said.
This week’s derailment is the second incident on Kicking Horse Pass in a month. On Jan. 3, 15 cars on a westbound train derailed inside the Upper Spiral Tunnel, forcing CP to close its main line for two days.