A criminal investigation is now underway into a deadly train derailment in B.C. that killed three Calgarians working for the Canadian Pacific Railway in 2019.
“The RCMP has completed a preliminary review of the fatal CP train derailment that occurred near Field, B.C. in February of 2019,” Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, a senior media relations officer with the B.C. RCMP, said in an email to Global News on Wednesday night. “During the course of this review, we have consulted with our partners at the Transportation Safety Board and Transport Canada, who have undertaken their own independent investigations into the incident.
“We have also consulted with the BC Prosecution Service and have determined further investigation is warranted.”
The train derailment killed conductor Dylan Paradis, locomotive engineer Andrew Dockrell and conductor trainee Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer. Days after the incident, the TSB said the train had been parked for about two hours at the entrance of a tunnel before it “began to move on its own” following a brake failure. In total, 99 of the train’s 112 cars, as well as two of its three locomotives, left the tracks.
The union representing the workers who died had called on the RCMP to conduct an independent investigation. Teamsters Canada said CP “should welcome an outside investigation for the sake of the families and all those affected by this disaster.”
Earlier this year, the RCMP said it was reviewing the file after a former CP police officer who investigated the crash spoke to the CBC television program The Fifth Estate, claiming CP kept him from speaking with key witnesses, withheld evidence and ordered officers to focus the investigation on the crew.
On Wednesday, Shoihet told Global News that CP Police has been advised of the criminal investigation.
“We will not speculate as to potential charges or the scope or breadth of the investigation,” she said. “We will allow the evidence to lead us, as always.”
Shoihet said the investigation was being led by “a team of experienced major crime investigators.”
–With files from Global News’ Blake Lough and Heide Pearson
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