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HomeNewsEquipment failure, rotted wood led to fatal logging train derailment in Woss

Equipment failure, rotted wood led to fatal logging train derailment in Woss

WOSS, B.C- A WorksafeBC report into a deadly logging train crash in Northern Vancouver Island has been released to the public.

The report found that poorly installed, faulty equipment was a factor in the crash, which left three people dead and two injured on the Englewood Railway near Woss in April of 2017.

The company that held and operated the rail line, Western Forest Products Inc., was also described as failing to ensure the health and safety of all workers on the line.

A failsafe train derailer that should have brought the runaway train to a halt didn’t work, which led out of control train cars to hit the maintenance crew.

The investigation laid out the details of the incident, which started after 11 rail cars loaded with lumber began to move down an incline, when a coupler between the 11th and 12th cars failed to work.

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The cars hit a derailer, which was meant to redirect in the event of a runaway, but only the first two wheels of the first car were derailed.

The derailer was then ripped out of the rotted wooden railway ties holding it in place, after the wood had been damaged by rain.

The cars carried on down the track, running into a maintenance car and a backhoe, eventually derailing further down the line. The workers on the maintenance crew were pinned by fallen logs, with two of the workers in the car and one in the backhoe passing away.

A statement has been released by the company in the wake of the report.

“The safety and security of our employees has and always will be our number one priority,” read the statement.

“This was a tragic incident that will forever impact the families of those lost and injured, all of those who worked alongside them and our company as a whole. We continue to work to ensure that families, workers and all affected by this tragic incident are supported in any way we can.”

The company has stopped all rail operations at the Englewood line since the derailment.

The Transportation Safety Board has been looking into what happened, but their report is not yet released.

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