Police Find Evidence Of Criminal Act In Deadly Canada Train Crash

Police Find Evidence Of Criminal Act In Deadly Canada Train CrashCanadian authorities have found evidence that a criminal act may have led to a train crash in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, that killed at least 15 people, provincial police Capt. Michel Forget said Tuesday.

‘Not caused by terrorism’

There have been many questions about the crash and explosion that wiped out a swath of the town 130 miles east of Montreal. As of Tuesday evening, 35 people were still missing, Forget said. Authorities offered no further details about the case but said it was not caused by terrorism.

Firefighters in the nearby town of Nantes put out a separate blaze on the train shortly before it crashed into Lac-Megantic early Saturday. Ed Burkhardt, chief executive officer and president of Rail World, the parent company of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, has told media outlets there’s evidence the engine powering the brakes was shut down at some point.

‘Likely vaporized’

The train began rolling — unbeknownst to dispatchers and rail traffic controllers — about an hour after the fire in Nantes was reported. It picked up speed because the track between Nantes and Lac-Megantic lies on a 1.2% downward slope, which Belkaloul said is relatively steep. Seventy-two tanker cars carrying crude oil jumped the track early Saturday, setting off a huge fireball.

Officials in Lac-Megantic say some victims were likely vaporized by the intense blaze, which burned for 36 hours after the crash. The fire is under control, authorities said Tuesday morning. Of the roughly 2,000 residents evacuated, about 1,200 will be permitted to return home immediately. Another 800 cannot go back yet, the officials said.

What could have been the motive of the person who caused this deadly train crash? Feel free to share your speculations with us!

Source: Eliott C. McLaughlin. Ben Brumfield. Paula Newton and Joe Sterling | CNN

Image: The Guardian

Russian Meteor Blast Leaves More Than 1,000 People Injured

Russian Meteor Blast Leaves More Than 1,000 People InjuredA meteor streaked through the skies above Russia’s Urals region Friday morning before exploding with a flash and boom that shattered glass in buildings and left about 1,000 people hurt, authorities said. Described by NASA as a “tiny asteroid,” the meteor’s explosion created a blast in central Russia equivalent to 300,000 tons of TNT, the space agency’s officials said Friday, adding that the incident was a once-in-100-years event.

‘Deafening bang’

The injured included more than 200 children. Most of those hurt are in the Chelyabinsk region, though the vast majority of injuries are not thought to be serious. About 3,000 buildings were damaged — mostly with broken glass — as a result of the shock waves caused by the blast, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency said.

Amateur video footage showed a bright white streak moving rapidly across the sky, before exploding with an even brighter flash and a deafening bang. The explosion occurred about 9:20 a.m. local time, as many people were out and about. It was captured in vivid images by Russians, many of whom used dash cameras inside their vehicles.

‘Greater vigilance’

The national space agency, Roscosmos, said scientists believed one meteoroid had entered the atmosphere, where it burned and disintegrated into fragments. The resulting meteorites are believed to be scattered across three regions of Russia, one of them Chelyabinsk, as well as neighboring Kazakhstan, the news agency said.

Officials from around the world were quick to call for greater vigilance in monitoring meteors. NASA spokesman Steve Cole told CNN that scientists had determined that the Russian meteor was on a very different trajectory from the larger asteroid. Cole said he wasn’t aware whether scientists had foreseen the meteor’s entry into the atmosphere. Because meteoroids are small, they are hard to spot and there is often little warning that they are heading toward Earth, he said.

Have you ever witnessed a meteor fallout? Feel free to describe that phenomenal event here!

Source: Phil Black, Boriana Milanova and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

Image: The Christian Science Monitor